Speciation and phylogeography of Hawaiian terrestrial arthropods


R. G. Gillespie Tel.: +01-(808)-956–8884; Fax: +01-(808)-956–9608; E-mail: gillespi@hawaii.edu


The Hawaiian archipelago is arguably the world’s finest natural laboratory for the study of evolution and patterns of speciation. Arthropods comprise over 75% of the endemic biota of the Hawaiian Islands and a large proportion belongs to species radiations. We classify patterns of speciation within Hawaiian arthropod lineages into three categories: (i) single representatives of a lineage throughout the islands; (ii) species radiations with either (a) single endemic species on different volcanoes or islands, or (b) multiple species on each volcano or island; and (iii) single widespread species within a radiation of species that exhibits local endemism. A common pattern of phylogeography is that of repeated colonization of new island groups, such that lineages progress down the island chain, with the most ancestral groups (populations or species) on the oldest islands. While great dispersal ability and its subsequent loss are features of many of these taxa, there are a number of mechanisms that underlie diversification. These mechanisms may be genetic, including repeated founder events, hybridization, and sexual selection, or ecological, including shifts in habitat and/or host affiliation. The majority of studies reviewed suggest that natural selection is a primary force of change during the initial diversification of taxa.