Aim To assess the roles of dispersal and vicariance in shaping the present distribution and diversity within Hypentelium nigricans, the northern hogsucker (Teleostei: Cypriniformes).
Location Eastern United States.
Methods Parsimony analyses, Bayesian analyses, pairwise genetic divergence and mismatch plots are used to examine patterns of genetic variation across H. nigricans.
Results Species relationships within the genus Hypentelium were consistent with previous hypotheses. However, relationships between haplotypes within H. nigricans revealed two deeply divergent groups, a clade containing haplotypes from the New and Roanoke rivers (Atlantic Slope) plus Interior Highlands and upper Mississippi River and a clade containing haplotypes from the Eastern Highlands, previously glaciated regions of the Ohio and Wabash rivers, and the Amite and Homochitto rivers of south-western Mississippi.
Main conclusions The phylogenetic history of Hypentelium was shaped by old vicariant events associated with erosion of the Blue Ridge and separation of the Mobile and Mississippi river basins. Within H. nigricans two clades existed prior to the Pleistocene; a widespread clade in the pre-glacial Teays-Mississippi River system and a clade in Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. Pleistocene events fragmented the Teays-Mississippi fauna. Following the retreat of the glaciers H. nigricans dispersed northward into previously glaciated regions. These patterns are replicated in other clades of fishes and are consistent with some of the predictions of Mayden's (Systematic Zoology, 37, 329, 1988) pre-Pleistocene vicariance hypothesis.