Molecular data extend Australian Cricotopus midge (Chironomidae) species diversity, and provide a phylogenetic hypothesis for biogeography and freshwater monitoring

Krosch, Matt N., Cranston, Peter S., & Baker, Andrew M. (2015) Molecular data extend Australian Cricotopus midge (Chironomidae) species diversity, and provide a phylogenetic hypothesis for biogeography and freshwater monitoring. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 175(3), pp. 496-509.

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Resolving species relationships and confirming diagnostic morphological characters for insect clades that are highly plastic, and/or include morphologically cryptic species, is crucial for both academic and applied reasons. Within the true fly (Diptera) family Chironomidae, a most ubiquitous freshwater insect group, the genera CricotopusWulp, 1874 and ParatrichocladiusSantos-Abreu, 1918 have long been taxonomically confusing. Indeed, until recently the Australian fauna had been examined in just two unpublished theses: most species were known by informal manuscript names only, with no concept of relationships. Understanding species limits, and the associated ecology and evolution, is essential to address taxonomic sufficiency in biomonitoring surveys. Immature stages are collected routinely, but tolerance is generalized at the genus level, despite marked variation among species. Here, we explored this issue using a multilocus molecular phylogenetic approach, including the standard mitochondrial barcode region, and tested explicitly for phylogenetic signal in ecological tolerance of species. Additionally, we addressed biogeographical patterns by conducting Bayesian divergence time estimation. We sampled all but one of the now recognized Australian Cricotopus species and tested monophyly using representatives from other austral and Asian locations. Cricotopus is revealed as paraphyletic by the inclusion of a nested monophyletic Paratrichocladius, with in-group diversification beginning in the Eocene. Previous morphological species concepts are largely corroborated, but some additional cryptic diversity is revealed. No significant relationship was observed between the phylogenetic position of a species and its ecology, implying either that tolerance to deleterious environmental impacts is a convergent trait among many Cricotopus species or that sensitive and restricted taxa have diversified into more narrow niches from a widely tolerant ancestor.

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ID Code: 86447
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Biogeography, Biomonitoring, Orthocladiinae, Palaeogene, Systematics, Tasmania
DOI: 10.1111/zoj.12284
ISSN: 0024-4082
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Earth, Environmental & Biological Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 The Linnean Society of London.
Deposited On: 06 Aug 2015 01:20
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 01:56

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