Genetic and morphological evidence for reproductive isolation between sympatric populations of Galaxias (Teleostei: Galaxiidae) in South Island, New Zealand

  • Waters J
  • Esa Y
  • Wallis G
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New Zealand's South Island houses a flock of closely related stream-resident fish taxa (Galaxias vulgaris sensu lato), including a number of species recently described on the basis of subtle morphological differences. The taxonomic status of some members of the species complex remains uncertain. This study examines the degree of reproductive isolation between recently recognized morphotypes from Southland (G. 'southern', flatheads; G. gollumoides, roundheads) which co-occur in Bushy Creek, a tributary of the Mataura R. Although these morphotypes are broadly sympatric in Southland and Stewart Island, Bushy Creek is their only documented zone of contact. Molecular (microsatellite, isozyme and mtDNA markers) and morphological analyses of 139 fish samples across a 500-m transect (seven stations) reveal a cline from predominantly G. 'southern' (N=85) to predominantly G. gollumoides (N=54), corresponding with a gradual increase in stream gradient. Multivariate analyses of genotypic and morphological data independently reveal distinct clusters that are completely congruent with mtDNA type, suggesting an absence of mtDNA introgression. Our data support the separate species status of G. 'southern' and G. gollumoides under both biological and phylogenetic species concepts. We suggest that the speciation of these taxa occurred in allopatry through independent losses of diadromy, with sympatry resulting from secondary contact. © 2001 The Linnean Society of London.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Control region
  • FCA
  • Hybridization
  • Microsatellites
  • Morphology
  • Phylogeny
  • Population genetics
  • Speciation

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  • Jonathan M. Waters

  • Yuzine B. Esa

  • Graham P. Wallis

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