Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences

The mitochondrial DNA haplotypes of snails of the estuarine hydrobiid genus Tatea cross species and biogeographic boundaries

D. J. Colgan A B and P. da Costa A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Research Branch, The Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia.

B Corresponding author. Email:

Marine and Freshwater Research 60(8) 861-872
Submitted: 30 June 2008  Accepted: 8 February 2009   Published: 27 August 2009


Investigations of estuarine taxa can provide a perspective on phylogeography that complements studies of marine littoral organisms. For example, reductions in gene flow between populations and increased genetic structuring would be expected in estuarine species. The substantial amount of information about marine species and the habitat diversity along long latitudinal spans makes south-eastern Australia an excellent potential location for comparing marine and estuarine taxa. To investigate this potential, we studied the phylogeography of the two species in the estuarine gastropod genus Tatea. These have extensive and broadly overlapping distributions that encompass known marine phylogeographic boundaries. Against expectation, both Tatea species showed a remarkable lack of geographic and inter-specific variability in mitochondrial 12S rRNA (107 specimens) and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (39) DNA sequences. No major phylogeographic discontinuities were revealed in either species and there was minimal haplotype divergence between them for either 12S rRNA or COI. The patterns of mitochondrial DNA variation discovered in Tatea may be due to a recent selective sweep or range expansion from a population in which there was little variability. Both possibilities are complicated by having to explain the similarity of the patterns in the two species.

Additional keywords: cytochrome c oxidase, Gastropoda, phylogeography, 12S rRNA, south-eastern Australia.


We thank Winston Ponder for his continuing support and encouragement and for reading a draft of this manuscript. We thank two anonymous referees for detailed and helpful comments on a previous version of the manuscript. The Australian Museum provided financial support for this work. We also thank the collectors of the material including those who collected for the Ponder et al. (1991) survey and Winston Ponder, Stephanie Clark, Des Beechey and Roger de Keyzer who collected the additional material used here.


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Appendix 1.  Locality data for study material
The column headed ‘Species/Population’ indicates the abbreviated name used herein. Numbers with the C prefix are Australian Museum (AM) registration numbers for the voucher lots from which specimen material was sampled. Standard abbreviations are used for compass points. NSW, New South Wales; Vic., Victoria; SA, South Australia; WA, Western Australia
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