Genetic cohesion of Eresus walckenaeri (Araneae, Eresidae) in the eastern Mediterranean

  • Johannesen J
  • Kiefer A
  • Veith M
 et al. 
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The eresid spider genus Eresus is morphologically and ecologically conservative. At least three species occur in Europe. However, deep genetic divergence among geographical samples within two species, E. cinnaberinus and E. sandaliatus, may suggest more cryptic species. In the present study we investigate the genetic cohesion of the third species, Eresus walckenaeri, throughout its eastern Mediterranean distribution range, relative to the E. cinnaberinus-E. sandaliatus species complex. Eresus walckenaeri specimens were monophyletic. Genetic discreteness of E. walckenaeri in a region of sympatry with its sister species in Greece provides evidence for species integrity of E. walckenaeri within the European Eresus species complex. Eresus walckenaeri exhibited high concordance between geographical location and mtDNA genealogy. Two major phylogeographical clades were found in the Greek-Turkish and Syrian-Israel parts of the investigated area, respectively (-6.5% sequence divergence). Concordance between geography and genetic divergence was further observed between Aegean island samples and their corresponding Greek and Turkish mainland samples, suggesting regional subdivision with gradual but potentially high dispersal propensity. Monophyly and limited regional distribution indicate Mediterranean endemic origin. (c) 2005 The Linnean Society of London

Author-supplied keywords

  • 16S
  • Aegean
  • Cryptic species
  • Levant
  • Mismatch distribution
  • ND1
  • Phylogeny
  • Phylogeography

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  • Jes Johannesen

  • Andreas Kiefer

  • Michael Veith

  • Jiri Kral

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