This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.
Body doubles: an integrative taxonomic approach reveals new sibling species of land planarians
Records of cryptic species have continued to emerge in the scientific literature, often revealed by the use of molecular phylogenetic analyses in an integrative taxonomic approach. This study addresses a group of four striped flatworms from the genus Pasipha Ogren & Kawakatsu, showing a pale median stripe on a dark dorsal surface. Based on morphological and molecular analyses from cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (COI), we establish that we are dealing with sibling or cryptic species, which are closely related to P. brevilineata, a recently described species with a similar colour pattern. Thus, we describe three of the studied flatworms as new species and propose one new unconfirmed candidate species based on molecular data. In addition, sequence analysis revealed 40 nucleotide autapomorphies supporting the species herein studied. Considering anatomical and histological features, the three new species are differentiated from their congeners mainly by details of the copulatory apparatus, such as the occurrence of an epithelium of pseudostratified appearance lining the female atrium and the shape and position of the proximal portion of the prostatic vesicle.
IS17046 Accepted 13 September 2017
© CSIRO 2017