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Article     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 25(3)

The Australian freshwater amphipods Austrochiltonia australis and Austrochiltonia subtenuis (Amphipoda : Talitroidea : Chiltoniidae) confirmed and two new cryptic Tasmanian species revealed using a combined molecular and morphological approach

Rachael A. King A B D and Remko Leys A C

A Evolutionary Biology Unit, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia.
B Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, The University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.
C School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University of South Australia, Bedford Park, SA 5001, Australia.
D Corresponding author. Email: Rachael.King@samuseum.sa.gov.au

Invertebrate Systematics 25(3) 171-196 http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/IS10035
Submitted: 1 November 2010  Accepted: 27 May 2011   Published: 18 November 2011

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Given the complex nature of freshwater catchment divides and emerging evidence of high levels of genetic diversity, there is great potential for cryptic species to exist among Australian freshwater amphipod groups. Among the chiltoniid amphipods, two congeneric species, Austrochiltonia australis (Sayce, 1901) and A. subtenuis (Sayce, 1902), have been widely recorded across southern Australia yet are poorly known and contentiously defined. A large fragment of the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) gene was examined and morphological diversity among populations assessed across the reported geographic range of the two putative species. The results confirmed A. australis and A. subtenuis as morphological and molecular species. In addition, two previously undetected and cryptic species from Tasmania are recognised – sister species to A. subtenuis and A. australis. Working conclusions provide evidence towards a more comprehensive systematic revision of the Chiltoniidae and present species information relevant to conservation and management efforts of Australian river systems. A key is presented to the chiltoniid amphipods of southern Australia.

Additional keywords: COI, mitochondrial DNA, speciation, taxonomy.


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