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Syst Biol. 2003 Aug;52(4):460-76.

Intraspecific phylogeny of the New Zealand short-tailed bat Mystacina tuberculata inferred from multiple mitochondrial gene sequences.

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Department of Conservation, P.O. Box 10420, Wellington, New Zealand.


An intraspecific phylogeny was established for the New Zealand short-tailed bat Mystacina tuberculata using a 2,878-bp sequence alignment from multiple mitochondrial genes (control region, ND2, 12S ribosomal RNA [rRNA], 16S rRNA, and tRNA). The inferred phylogeny comprises six lineages, with estimated divergences extending back between 0.93 and 0.68 million years to the middle Pleistocene. The lineages do not correspond to the existing subspecific taxonomy. Although multiple lineages occur sympatrically in many populations, the lineages are geographically structured. This structure has persisted despite repeated cycles of range expansion and contraction in response to climatic oscillations and catastrophic volcanic eruptions. The distribution of lineages among populations in central North Island indicates that a hybrid zone was formed by simultaneous colonization from single-lineage source populations inhabiting remote forest refugia. The observed pattern is not typical of microbats, which because of their high mobility generally exhibit low levels of genetic differentiation and geographic structure over continental ranges. Although lineages of M. tuberculata occur sympatrically in many populations, genetic distances between them are sufficiently large to suggest that they may be considered evolutionary significant units or taxonomic subspecies.

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