31395_WetzerEtAl_Sphaeromatidae_2018.pdf (5.01 MB)
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posted on 06.06.2018, 21:22 by Regina WetzerRegina Wetzer, 0000-0003-2674-5150, Niel L. Bruce, Marcos Pérez-Losada

Relationships of the Sphaeromatidae genera (Peracarida: Isopoda) inferred from 18S rDNA and 16S rDNA genes

Abstract. The Sphaeromatidae has 100 genera and close to 700 species with a worldwide distribution. Most are abundant primarily in shallow (< 200 m) marine communities, but extend to 1.400 m, and are occasionally present in permanent freshwater habitats. They play an important role as prey for epibenthic shes and are commensals and scavengers. Sphaeromatids’ impressive exploitation of diverse habitats, in combination with diversity in female life history strategies and elaborate male combat structures, has resulted in extraordinary levels of homoplasy. We sequenced specimens from 39 genera for nuclear 18S rDNA and mitochondrial 16S rDNA genes, comprehensively reviewed the effects of alignments on tree topology, and performed Garli and MrBayes analyses. These data consistently retrieved clades (genus groups), Sphaeroma, Exosphaeroma, Cymodoce, Ischyromene, Cerceis, and Dynamenella and the monogeneric clade of Gnorimo- sphaeroma. We de ne the major clades using morphological characters, attribute sampled taxa to consistently and strongly supported ones and suggest placement of unsampled genera based on their morphological characteristics. Within each clade, we also highlight unresolved and poorly sampled genera. We point out taxonomic problems in hopes of encouraging further phylogenetic exploration. Although we identify clades containing consistent generic groups and are con dent that some groups will prove stable and reliable, we feel our sampling is insuf cient to propose nomenclatural changes at this time.


This project was supported by NSF Systematics grant DEB-0129317. This is Contribution Number 2 of the NHM Diversity Initiative of the Southern California Ocean. This is contribution number #203 from the NWU-Water Research Group.


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