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Keywords:

  • conservation;
  • cox1;
  • dauricus;
  • diving beetles;
  • marginalis czerskii;
  • sharpi sharpi;
  • sharpi validus

Abstract

We sequenced 628 base pairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome-c oxidase subunit 1 (cox1) gene to investigate the genetic differentiation among Japanese Dytiscus diving beetles (Coleoptera: Dytiscidae). Dytiscus beetles are a charismatic part of the fauna of lakes, ponds and swamps. Three species are known from Japan: D. dauricus Gebler, 1832; D. marginalis czerskii Zeitzev*, 1953; and D. sharpi Wehncke, 1875. Adults of D. sharpi collected in Chiba and Ishikawa Prefectures were morphologically highly similar, but here we found that they differed by 20 cox1 base pairs (3.18%). Our results imply that conservation strategies especially for Japanese D. sharpi sharpi and D. sharpi validus Régimbart, 1899 might need to be adjusted to address the presence of two evolutionarily significant units.