AB 19:153-165 (2013)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00518

Speciation of two stingrays with antitropical distributions: low levels of divergence in mitochondrial DNA and morphological characters suggest recent evolution

A. Le Port1,2,*, M. D. M. Pawley3, S. D. Lavery1,2

1Leigh Marine Laboratory, University of Auckland, PO Box 349, Warkworth 0941, New Zealand
2School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
3Institute of Information and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Auckland 0745, New Zealand

ABSTRACT: Disjunct geographic distributions across the equator (antitropicality) occur in many marine and terrestrial taxa. However, their origin and role in forming new species is still poorly understood. Here we examine the phylogenetic relationships and levels of genetic and morphological divergence in 2 stingray species, the Southern Hemisphere Dasyatis brevicaudata and the Northern Hemisphere D. matsubarai, with antitropical distributions and suspected conserved morphological traits. Analyses of concatenated mtDNA sequences (3160 bp dataset: CO1, cytochrome b, control region) suggest D. brevicaudata and D. matsubarai are closely related sister lineages, with low levels of sequence divergence more akin to intra- rather than interspecific comparisons. Multivariate analyses of morphological traits are largely consistent with the genetic data in showing small but discrete differences in morphometric characteristics, allowing Northern and Southern Hemisphere individuals to be separated into 2 groups. We suggest that D. brevicaudata and D. matsubarai are closely related sister taxa that may represent an early stage in the process of allopatric speciation.


KEY WORDS: Antitropical distribution · Stingray · Allopatric speciation · Dasyatis · Sister taxa


Full text in pdf format
Supplementary material 
Cite this article as: Le Port A, Pawley MDM, Lavery SD (2013) Speciation of two stingrays with antitropical distributions: low levels of divergence in mitochondrial DNA and morphological characters suggest recent evolution. Aquat Biol 19:153-165. https://doi.org/10.3354/ab00518

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -