An unusual phylogeography in the bushcricket Ephippiger ephippiger from Southern France

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Abstract

Pleistocene glaciations have played a major role in species divergence. The bushcricket Ephippiger ephippiger shows unusual patterns of intraspecific variation in multiple traits across Southern Europe. This is centred in Southern France, and evidence implies that it results from secondary contact after differentiation in Pleistocene refugia. However, the possible time scales involved, locations of the refugia and patterns of expansion remain obscure. This study sequenced the COII (507 BP) and cyt b (428 BP) mitochondrial genes to examine the intraspecific phylogeography of Western European samples of E. ephippiger. A minimum evolution tree revealed little resolution between described subspecies of E. ephippiger. Strikingly, populations from the Pyrenees and Mediterranean coastal region contained a complex genetic structure corresponding to major river valleys, independent of the traditional taxonomy. Samples of the subspecies E. e. vitium formed a distinct clade, perhaps supporting their taxonomic status. However, other forms (cruciger and cunii) were not genetically distinct, which is surprising given differences in their morphology and behaviour. The extent of the genetic divergence between Pyreneen valleys is unexpectedly deep, with average Tamura-Nei distances of around 14% (net distances of 11%) separating the main clades of coding COII sequences. Cyt b showed a similar pattern, but was confounded by some non-coding probable pseudogenes. If a conventional insect molecular clock is applied, these cryptic clades must predate the Pleistocene, and hypotheses for their history are discussed. However, mtDNA divergence in Ephippiger is not evolving in a clock-like manner, because a likelihood ratio test rejects clock assumptions for the COII sequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-408
Number of pages11
JournalHeredity
Volume97
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2006

Keywords

  • mtDNA
  • geographic variation
  • phylogeography
  • refugia
  • Tettigoniidae
  • Ephippiger
  • GRASSHOPPER CHORTHIPPUS-PARALLELUS
  • MITOCHONDRIAL-DNA
  • GENETIC CONSEQUENCES
  • HYBRID ZONE
  • ICE AGES
  • GEOGRAPHIC-VARIATION
  • WETA ORTHOPTERA
  • SEQUENCE DATA
  • SPECIATION
  • EVOLUTION

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