How many species of Siphonaria pectinata (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) are there?


Giribet, G., and G. Y. Kawauchi. 2016. “How many species of Siphonaria pectinata (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) are there?” Journal of Molluscan Studies 82 (1): 137–143.


Siphonaria pectinata (Linnaeus, 1758) has been considered a widespread species with Amphiatlantic distribution or a case of cryptic taxonomy where sibling species exist. We undertook molecular evaluation of 66 specimens from across its putative distribution range. We examined up to three molecular markers (mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I and 16S rRNA, and nuclear internal transcribed spacer-2) of putative S. pectinata, including populations from the Mediterranean Sea, eastern Atlantic (Spain, Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Cameroon and Gabon) and western Atlantic (Florida and Mexico), covering most of the natural range of the species. While little information could be derived from the shell morphology, molecular data clearly distinguished three lineages with no apparent connectivity. These lineages correspond to what we interpret as three species, two suspected from prior work: S. pectinata, restricted to the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean and S. naufragum Stearns, 1872 in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. A third species has been identified for the Cape Verde Archipelago, for which we use the available name S. placentula Menke, 1853.

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Last updated on 09/28/2017