Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Species richness in the genus Microplana (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Microplaninae) in Europe: as yet no asymptote in sight

Eduardo Mateos A , Ronald Sluys B D , Marta Riutort C and Marta Álvarez-Presas C
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals, Facultat de Biologia, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

B Naturalis Biodiversity Center, PO Box 9517, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.

C Departament de Genètica, Microbiologia i Estadística, Facultat de Biologia and Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio), Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.

D Corresponding author. Email: Ronald.Sluys@naturalis.nl

Invertebrate Systematics 31(3) 269-301 https://doi.org/10.1071/IS16038
Submitted: 25 April 2016  Accepted: 1 December 2016   Published: 9 May 2017

Abstract

This study forms a major step towards a comprehensive morphological and molecular analysis of the species diversity of European microplanid land planarians. It presents a molecular phylogenetic tree on the basis of information from the genes Cox1, 18S, 28S and elongation factor 1-α, and applies molecular and morphological species delimitation methodologies for Microplana specimens sampled over a wide geographic range within Europe. The study suggests that as yet there is no plateau or asymptote in the accumulation curve for European Microplana species, as our results facilitated an integrative delimitation of seven new species as well as the diagnosis of new populations of three already known species and one doubtful or problematic species. In some cases, the new records considerably enlarged the known range of a species. An integrative account is provided of each of these species. Molecular sequence information on newly collected land flatworms may quickly point the planarian systematist to taxa that need to be examined morphologically and thus may considerably reduce laborious and time-consuming histological analyses.

Additional keywords: biodiversity, BP&P, Continenticola, GMYC, integrative taxonomy, molecular systematics, taxonomic inflation.


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