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

Phylogeny of the freshwater crab genus Somanniathelphusa Bott (Decapoda : Parathelphusidae) from Taiwan and the coastal regions of China, with notes on their biogeography

Hsi-Te Shih A D , Shao-Hua Fang B and Peter K. L. Ng C
+ Author Affliations
- Author Affliations

A Department of Life Science, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan.

B Fujian Institute of Oceanology, Xiamen, Fujian 361012, P. R. China.

C Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Kent Ridge, Singapore 119260, Republic of Singapore.

D Corresponding author. Email: htshih@dragon.nchu.edu.tw

Invertebrate Systematics 21(1) 29-37 https://doi.org/10.1071/IS06007
Submitted: 4 March 2006  Accepted: 30 November 2006   Published: 8 March 2007

Abstract

It is generally accepted that the southern part of mainland China was connected to, and then separated from, the island of Taiwan many times as a result of successive glaciation events, the most recent being 15 000 years ago. On the basis of this, many biogeographical hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origins and relationships of the flora and fauna of Taiwan and mainland China. However, no clear genetic evidence from the flora and fauna of Taiwan has been forthcoming to support the geological history or biogeographical hypotheses. Land-locked freshwater crabs of the genus Somanniathelphusa Bott, 1968 (Crustacea : Brachyura : Parathelphusidae) inhabit the lowland coastal plains of East Asia and also Taiwan Island, which is their only known locality outside of the main continent. Of the eight species of Somanniathelphusa known from Taiwan and the coastal regions of China (Fujian, Guangdong and Hong Kong), five are studied here: S. amoyensis Naiyanetr & Dai, 1997; S. taiwanensis Bott, 1968; S. zanklon Ng & Dudgeon, 1992; S. zhangpuensis Naiyanetr & Dai, 1997; and S. zhapoensis Naiyanetr & Dai, 1997. Somanniathelphusa taiwanensis has a restricted range in west-central Taiwan, which has been explained by the invasion of species from the mainland via the landbridge of Taiwan Strait during glaciation. This is confirmed by a molecular phylogenetic analysis of the species and its congeners on the mainland. Based on the comparisons of DNA sequences encoding part of the mitochondrial large subunit (16S) rRNA gene and cytochrome oxidase I (COI), two major groups are discernible. Somanniathelphusa zhapoensis from western Guangdong belongs to its own distinct group. The remaining species belong to the second group, but two constituent clades can be recognised, here referred to as the ‘S. taiwanensis’ and ‘S. zanklon’ clades, respectively. These two clades are currently isolated by a major mountain range between Fujian and Guangdong. The molecular evidence also strongly supports the recent invasion of Taiwan by the genus Somanniathelphusa from Fujian during the last glacial event.

Additional keywords: cytochrome oxidase I, glaciations, mitochondrial 16S rRNA, phylogeography, Somanniathelphusa.


Acknowledgements

This study was supported by a grant from the National Science Council, Republic of China (Taiwan) (NSC 90–2611–B-178–001–, 91–2621–B–178–004–, 92–2621–B–178–003–) awarded to the senior author. We wish to express our thanks to Darren C. J. Yeo, Jung-Hsiang Lee, Yung-Quan Su, De-Xiang Wang and Hsueh-Wen Chang for specimen collection and other useful help. Two anonymous reviewers, who greatly improved this manuscript, are also acknowledged.


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