Multilocus data reveal cryptic species in the Atlantic seabob shrimp Xiphopenaeus kroyeri (Crustacea: Decapoda)

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The recognition of cryptic biodiversity provides valuable insights for the management of exploited species. The Atlantic seabob shrimp (Xiphopenaeus kroyeri) is a commercially important fishery resource in the Guianan ecoregion, South America. Previous research in Brazil suggested the presence of cryptic species within the genus. Here, we confirm this presence and delimit the species by applying a multilocus approach based on two mitochondrial (COI and cytb) and two nuclear (PEPCK and NaK) genes. Species boundaries were tested using BPP, GMYC and bPTP delimitation algorithms. These analyses provided strong support for three clades within the genus Xiphopenaeus, including one undescribed clade, which occurs sympatrically with X. kroyeri in the Western Atlantic. Unexpectedly, this undescribed clade is more closely related to the Pacific Xiphopenaeus riveti than to their Atlantic congener. Our DNA-based species delimitation was further supported by new ecological information on habitat and morphology (colour). We also expand the known distribution range of the cryptic species, currently restricted to Brazil, to include French Guiana, Suriname and Colombia. Our findings have important consequences for the management of the species, in terms of both biodiversity management and fisheries management.




Kerkhove, T. R. H., Boyen, J., De Backer, A., Mol, J. H., Volckaert, F. A. M., Leliaert, F., & De Troch, M. (2019). Multilocus data reveal cryptic species in the Atlantic seabob shrimp Xiphopenaeus kroyeri (Crustacea: Decapoda). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 127(4), 847–862.

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