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Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Volume 161, 2021, 107153

One, two or three? Integrative species delimitation of short-range endemic Hemicycla species (Gastropoda: Helicidae) from the Canary Islands based on morphology, barcoding, AFLP and ddRADseq data

Simon Bober, Matthias Glaubrecht, Bernhard Hausdorf, Marco T.Neiber

Center of Natural History, Zoological Museum, University of Hamburg, Martin-Luther-King-Platz 3, 20146 Hamburg, Germany.

Abstract

Hemicycla mascaensis and Hdiegoi are short-range endemics that occur allopatrically in small areas in the Teno Mountains in the western part of Tenerife (Canary Islands). Both taxa have been recognised as distinct species based on differences in shell morphology and genital anatomy. Preliminary molecular analyses using mitochondrial markers suggested a potential paraphyly of Hdiegoi with regard to Hmascaensis. We here use multilocus AFLP data and ddRADseq data as well as distribution data, data on shell morphology and genital anatomy to assess the status of these taxa using phylogenetic analyses, species tree reconstruction and molecular species delimitation based on the multispecies coalescent as implemented in BFD* and BPP in an integrative approach. Our analyses show that, based on the analysis of multilocus data, the two taxa are reciprocally monophyletic. Species delimitation methods, however, tend to recognise all investigated populations as distinct species, albeit neither lending unambiguous support to any of the species hypotheses. The comparison of the anatomy of distal genital organs further suggests differentiation within Hmascaensis. This highlights the need for a balanced weighting of arguments from different lines of evidence to determine species status and calls for cautious interpretations of the results of molecular species delimitation analyses, especially in organisms with low active dispersal capacities and expected distinct population structuring such as land snails. Taking all available evidence into account, we favour to recognise Hmascaensis and Hdiegoi as distinct species, acknowledging, though, that the recognition of both taxa as subspecies (with possibly a third yet undescribed) would also be an option as morphological differentiation is within the limits of other land snail species that are traditionally subdivided into subspecies.

Keywords: Helicoidea, Integrative taxonomy, Multispecies coalescent, Tenerife, Speciation.

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