Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography

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Integrative taxonomy unravels the species diversity of Parachristianella Dollfus, 1946 (Cestoda: Trypanorhyncha) from both sides of the Panamanian isthmus

Bjoern Schaeffner , Fernando P. L. Marques


The uplift of the Panamanian isthmus in the Pliocene caused the termination of gene flow among members of many ancestral populations of marine lineages leading the diversification of geminate species confined to opposite sides of Central America. This paleogeographical event has been evoked to explain the diversification of few lineages of batoids with trans-isthmian distribution. As such, there is the expectation that this vicariance event also affected lineages of parasites associated with them. Our study suggests that this event can explain the diversification of Parachristianella Dollfus, 1946 (Trypanorhyncha: Eutetrarhynchidae) in the Caribbean Sea and Tropical eastern Pacific Ocean. We provide molecular, morphological, and biogeographical evidence to recognize 5 lineages within this genus inhabiting the coastal waters of Panama, including P. parva Campbell & Beveridge, 2007 and 4 new species: P. mendozai sp. nov., P. kuchtai sp. nov., P. campbelli sp. nov., and P. soldanovae sp. nov. These species can be diagnosed by unambiguous sets of molecular characters. The morphological cohesiveness of sister-species, which most likely diverged from around 3 ma through the uplift of the Panamanian isthmus, suggests that the traditional emphasis given on the tentacular armature to circumscribe species within trypanorhynchs might underestimate the diversity of recently diverged lineages.

IS17008  Accepted 20 July 2017

© CSIRO 2017