• Aegean area;
  • Anatolia;
  • cave crickets;
  • evolution;
  • Late Miocene;
  • Taurus Way

Active tectonic history of the Eastern Mediterranean, especially around Aegean area, through the Neogene led to interesting radiation patterns of animal lineages, allowing intriguing biogeographical hypotheses to be tested. Descendants of the ancestral stock in the Miocene Aegean Plate presently occur in the Anatolia, Aegean islands and the Balkan Penninsula. Troglophilus (Orthoptera, Rhaphidophoridae, Troglophilinae) is such a genus represented in these areas with approximately 15 species. The present study addresses the phylogeography of the genus, with a special emphasis on its Anatolian members, aiming to test the biogeographical patterns suggested for this area using mitochondrial [cytochome oxidase I (COI)] and nuclear (ITS1-5.8S–ITS2) markers. Data matrices obtained from sequences of COI and ITS1-5.8S–ITS2 were used for phylogenetic analyses using Dolichopoda lycia and Dolichopoda sbordonii as outgroups. All sets of the analyses suggested monophyly of the Anatolian haplotypes, although they are not congruent in revealing their relationships. Anatolian haplotypes constituted three main phylogroups in trees calculated from a matrix of short COI sequences: the ECMA (corresponding to the Eastern part of coastal Mediterranean Anatolia); the CWMA (from the Central and Western part of Mediterranean Anatolia); and NA (from Northern Anatolia). Trees obtained using longer sequences resulted in only two phylogroups, namely ECMA and CWMA + NA. The trees based on the ITS1-5.8S–ITS2 data matrix supported monophyly of Anatolian phylogroups. BEAST analysis of the COI estimated the time to most recent common ancestor for Dolichopoda and Troglophilus as 10.8 Mya, to that for the Anatolian + Balkan Troglophilus as 7.2 Mya, and to that for the Anatolian Troglophilus as 6.3 Mya. BEAST analysis of ITS1–ITS2 intron regions is largely congruent with that of COI. From these results, several conclusions were drawn. First, the divergence of Dolichopoda and Troglophilus possibly started with the opening of the Mid-Aegean Trench in the Tortonian. Second, Troglophilus possibly originated from an ancestral stock in the old Aegean Plate. It later diverged as Anatolian and Balkan lineages and, possibly, the Cretan population may be regarded the third lineage. Divergence within the Anatolian lineage is estimated to have occurred through the Pliocene and Pleistocene, although before the last four glacial periods in the late Pleistocene. Additionally, the northern Anatolian Troglophilus appears to originate from the dispersal of an ancestral stock from a mountainous lineage through the Taurus Way. © 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 108, 335–348.