Genome-wide SNP data and morphology support the distinction of two new species of kovarikia soleglad, fet & Graham, 2014 endemic to California (Scorpiones, vaejovidae)

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Abstract

Morphologically conserved taxa such as scorpions represent a challenge to delimit. We recently discovered populations of scorpions in the genus Kovarikia Soleglad, Fet & Graham, 2014 on two isolated mountain ranges in southern California. We generated genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism data and used Bayes factors species delimitation to compare alternative species delimitation scenarios which variously placed scorpions from the two localities with geographically adjacent species or into separate lineages. We also estimated a time-calibrated phylogeny of Kovarikia and examined and compared the morphology of preserved specimens from across its distribution. Genetic results strongly support the distinction of two new lineages, which we describe and name here. Morphology among the species of Kovarikia was relatively conserved, despite deep genetic divergences, consistent with recent studies of stenotopic scorpions with limited vagility. Phylogeographic structure discovered in several previously described species also suggests additional cryptic species are probably present in the genus.

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Bryson, R. W., Wood, D. A., Graham, M. R., Soleglad, M. E., & McCormack, J. E. (2018). Genome-wide SNP data and morphology support the distinction of two new species of kovarikia soleglad, fet & Graham, 2014 endemic to California (Scorpiones, vaejovidae). ZooKeys, 2018(739), 79–106. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.739.20628

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