Molecular and distribution data on the poorly known, elusive, cave mysid Harmelinella mariannae (Crustacea: Mysida)

Authors

  • Pierre Chevaldonné,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institut Méditerranéen de la Biodiversité et d'Ecologie Marine et Continentale, IMBE, UMR 7263 CNRS-IRD-UAPV, Aix-Marseille Université, Station Marine d'Endoume, Marseille, France
    • Correspondence

      Pierre Chevaldonné, Institut Méditerranéen de la Biodiversité et d'Ecologie Marine et Continentale, IMBE, UMR 7263 CNRS-IRD-UAPV, Aix-Marseille Université, Station Marine d'Endoume, Rue de la Batterie des Lions, 13007 Marseille, France.

      E-mail: pierre.chevaldonne@imbe.fr

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  • Pierre-Alexandre Rastorgueff,

    1. Institut Méditerranéen de la Biodiversité et d'Ecologie Marine et Continentale, IMBE, UMR 7263 CNRS-IRD-UAPV, Aix-Marseille Université, Station Marine d'Endoume, Marseille, France
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  • Defne Arslan,

    1. Institut Méditerranéen de la Biodiversité et d'Ecologie Marine et Continentale, IMBE, UMR 7263 CNRS-IRD-UAPV, Aix-Marseille Université, Station Marine d'Endoume, Marseille, France
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  • Christophe Lejeusne

    1. Departamento Ecología de Humedales, Estación Biológica de Doñana – CSIC, Sevilla, Spain
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Abstract

Mediterranean underwater marine caves harbour abundant populations of several species of mysids that are increasingly used as biological models in ecological and evolutionary studies. One exception is the species Harmelinella mariannae, described in 1989 and then hardly ever again reported in the literature. We here provide the first data on the distribution of this poorly known taxon that, contrary to expectations for a rare brooding cave dweller, we now report from Madeira Island in the nearby Atlantic, to the easternmost parts of the Mediterranean. Brief behavioural observations are added, particularly its atypical solitary habits and its feeding behaviour as a high trophic level carnivore. Molecular characterization of the different specimens captured provided three sorts of information. Mitochondrial COI and 16S haplotypes suggest different colonization waves in the Mediterranean, with one group in the Eastern Basin, two in the Marseille region in the NW part of this sea, and another group with a very wide extension from Madeira to Liguria and Malta. Mitochondrial data also support that one of the groups in Marseille might have diverged as a cryptic species of Harmelinella. 18S rRNA gene displays a single common sequence to all specimens from the four groups, and seems to confirm the original proposed placement of this taxon within the subfamily Heteromysinae, not Leptomysinae.

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