In the present study, we employed three mitochondrial DNA genetic markers in a phylogenetic analysis aiming at the delineation of the relationships amongst nominal Trachelipus kytherensis populations, as well as between populations of this species and of Trachelipus aegaeus and a new form, occurring syntopically with the latter. Both the phylogenetic analysis and the genetic distances separating populations, show the presence of several distinct and well differentiated clades that undermine the monophyly of T. kytherensis. On the other hand, despite the insular distribution of T. aegaeus populations, their divergence is low and the monophyly of this taxon can be rescued by the inclusion of two more insular populations previously assigned to T. kytherensis. The patterns of genetic divergence among clades are only partially congruent with the geographic distribution of populations. The validity of taxonomic characters used so far in the genus appears to be questionable; therefore, a more comprehensive phylogenetic study at a population level is deemed necessary for understanding the divergence of Trachelipus lineages. © 2008 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2008, 95, 361–370.
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Document Type: Research Article
Division of Animal Biology, Department of Biology, University of Patras, GR-26500, Patras, Greece
Division of Genetics, Cell and Developmental Biology, Department of Biology, University of Patras, GR-26500, Patras, Greece
Publication date: 2008-10-01