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The evolutionary history of the Mediterranean centipede Scolopendra cingulata (Latreille, 1829) (Chilopoda: Scolopendridae) across the Aegean archipelago

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In this study we investigate the evolutionary relationships of Scolopendra cingulata (Latreille, 1829) within insular Greece. Our main goal is to infer the time frame of the differentiation of the species in the study area. In this regard, sequence data originating from three mitochondrial genes are used to reconstruct the evolutionary history of 47 insular populations of S. cingulata from the Aegean archipelago. Within the phylogenetic framework and by implementing a relaxed molecular clock methodology, we infer the time estimates of separations of the S. cingulata lineages. The results of the phylogenetic analysis support the presence of three distinct S. cingulata groups in the region. The first group accommodates populations from the eastern Aegean islands, and is closely related to the second group that hosts mainly populations of northern and central Cyclades. The third group is composed of insular populations originating from southern Cyclades. Different temporal splitting scenarios have been evaluated. Based on the scenario strongly supported by the data, we propose a biogeographical scenario that could account for the contemporary distribution of the species' lineages. The splitting events of S. cingulata are estimated to have occurred within the late Miocene. The historical events of the last 13.77 Myr have shaped, through a series of mostly vicariant and dispersal incidents, the present‐day biogeographical pattern of the species. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 105, 507–521.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Natural History Museum of Crete, University of Crete, Heraklion, GR-71409, PO Box 2208, Crete, Greece 2: Department of Ecology and Taxonomy, Faculty of Biology, University of Athens, Panepistimioupoli Zografou, GR-15784 Athens, Greece

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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