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Sympatry and colour variation disguised well-differentiated sister species: Suphrodytes revised with integrative taxonomy including 5 kbp of housekeeping genes (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae)

Johannes Bergsten / Gracen Brilmyer
  • Division of Insects, Field Museum of Natural History, 1400 S Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL, USA
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Alex Crampton-Platt
  • Entomology Department, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD London, UK
  • Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Anders N. Nilsson
Published Online: 2012-11-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/dna-2012-0001


The genus Suphrodytes, is currently regarded as a monobasic Palearctic genus with one colour-variable species, S. dorsalis. Here we show with >5 kbp of nuclear and mitochondrial genes and quantitative morphological characters that Suphrodytes consists of two well-defined species, albeit each with variable colour pattern. The primary barcode gene CO1, showed consistent signs of multiple copies, therefore a range of alternative housekeeping genes were screened for information. The two species were reciprocally monophyletic in genetrees from 12S, 16S, CO1, CO2, CytB, H3 and 18S. Explicit species delimitation tests based on the coalescent process model rejected the null hypothesis that the genealogies originated from a single panmictic species. The mitochondrial proteincoding genes were proportionally richest in information followed by 12S and Histone 3. Conservative nuclear 18S had a single fixed diagnostic character. The two species were significantly different in total bodylength, bodyshape, shape of the male aedeagus and parameres. We review the taxonomic literature of Suphrodytes and find S. dorsalis (Fabricius, 1787) and S. figuratus (Gyllenhal, 1826) to be the oldest available names for the respective species, and for which we designate lectotypes. Synonyms are established for both species which are broadly sympatric across the Palearctic and frequently even collected at the same locality.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: Species delimitation; Multiple copies; DNA Barcoding; Reciprocal monophyly; Taxonomy; Sympatric

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About the article

Received: 2012-06-19

Accepted: 2012-09-23

Published Online: 2012-11-19

Citation Information: DNA Barcodes, Volume 1, Pages 1–18, ISSN (Online) 2299-1077, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/dna-2012-0001.

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©2012 Versita Sp. z o.o.. This content is open access.

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