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Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2009 Sep;52(3):643-59. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2009.03.033. Epub 2009 Apr 9.

Examining the phylogeny of the Australasian Lymnaeidae (Heterobranchia: Pulmonata: Gastropoda) using mitochondrial, nuclear and morphological markers.

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  • 1School of Biological Sciences, University of Wollongong, NSW 2533, Australia.


We examined the species groups relationships of the freshwater snail genus Austropeplea using mitochondrial, nuclear and morphological markers in addition to traditional methods of shell shape analysis. Based primarily on the results of a combined molecular and morphological analysis, samples of the nominal species A. tomentosa form distinct lineages. The New Zealand populations of A. tomentosa are a very distinct lineage from any of the Australian populations attributed to A. tomentosa. Furthermore, within the Australian group, three lineages, south Australia, Tasmania and eastern Australia, appear to have undergone recent and/or rapid speciation events. Samples assigned to A. lessoni were resolved as two distinct lineages, representing the eastern and northern Australian populations. Kutikina hispida was resolved within the Australian A. tomentosa clade. Molecular results for A. viridis suggests that it is also composed of at least two distinct lineages that could be treated as species. Incongruence observed between the single mitochondrial, nuclear and morphological topologies highlight the importance of using a number of different datasets in the delimitation of species-group taxa.

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