Cryptic species and morphological plasticity in long-lived bivalves (Unionoida: Hyriidae) from inland Australia

Authors

  • Andrew M. Baker,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, 4111, Australia
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  • Chris Bartlett,

    1. Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, 4111, Australia
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  • Stuart E. Bunn,

    1. Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, 4111, Australia
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  • Katrina Goudkamp,

    1. Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, 4111, Australia
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  • Fran Sheldon,

    1. Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, 4111, Australia
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  • Jane M. Hughes

    1. Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology, Australian School of Environmental Studies, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, 4111, Australia
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Dr Andrew Baker. Fax: + 61 73875 7615; E-mail: a.baker@griffith.edu.au

Abstract

Molecular (mitochondrial DNA, isozyme) and morphological diversity of freshwater mussels (Family Hyriidae) was examined at 21 sites encompassing four large river systems, across southwest Queensland, Australia. Evidence was found for two major morphological groups. One group, which occurred in every river system, closely matched a recognized species (Velesunio ambiguus) both morphologically and in a well-supported lineage within a mitochondrial phylogeny generated from partial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences. The second group most closely matched Velesunio wilsonii in shell morphology but formed three deeply divergent mitochondrial DNA lineages. All four lineages occurred sympatrically in some areas and displayed corresponding fixed differences at nuclear allozyme loci, which suggests an absence of recent hybridization and the presence of separate species.

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