Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2018 May;122:1-14. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2017.12.027. Epub 2017 Dec 30.

Cryptic lineage differentiation among Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in the northwest Indian Ocean.

Author information

Department of Biosciences, University of Durham, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.
Biology, Science Education, Faculty of Education, University of Miyazaki, 1-1 Gakuen-Kibanadai-Nishi, Miyazaki, Miyazaki 889-2192, Japan.
School of Life Sciences, College of Science, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN6 7TS, UK.
Center for Marine Environmental Studies (CMES), Ehime University, Bunkyo-cho 2-5, Matsuyama 790-8577, Japan.
Institute of Marine Science, University of Karachi, 75270 Karachi, Pakistan.
School of Natural and Built Environment, Queen's University Marine Laboratory, Queen's University Belfast, Portaferry Northern Ireland BT22 1PF, UK.
School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, Australia.
UAE Dolphin Project, POBox 211973, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Institute of Ocean and Earth Sciences, C308, IPS Building, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Megaptera Marine Consulting, Den Haag, The Netherlands.
Marine Conservation International, Edinburgh EH30 9WN, UK.
Wildlife Conservation Society Ocean Giants Program, 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460-1099, USA.
Five Oceans Environmental Services, PO Box 660, PC131 Ruwi, Oman.
Department of Biosciences, University of Durham, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK. Electronic address:


Phylogeography can provide insight into the potential for speciation and identify geographic regions and evolutionary processes associated with species richness and evolutionary endemism. In the marine environment, highly mobile species sometimes show structured patterns of diversity, but the processes isolating populations and promoting differentiation are often unclear. The Delphinidae (oceanic dolphins) are a striking case in point and, in particular, bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops spp.). Understanding the radiation of species in this genus is likely to provide broader inference about the processes that determine patterns of biogeography and speciation, because both fine-scale structure over a range of kilometers and relative panmixia over an oceanic range are known for Tursiops populations. In our study, novel Tursiops spp. sequences from the northwest Indian Ocean (including mitogenomes and two nuDNA loci) are included in a worldwide Tursiops spp. phylogeographic analysis. We discover a new 'aduncus' type lineage in the Arabian Sea (off India, Pakistan and Oman) that diverged from the Australasian lineage ∼261 Ka. Effective management of coastal dolphins in the region will need to consider this new lineage as an evolutionarily significant unit. We propose that the establishment of this lineage could have been in response to climate change during the Pleistocene and show data supporting hypotheses for multiple divergence events, including vicariance across the Indo-Pacific barrier and in the northwest Indian Ocean. These data provide valuable transferable inference on the potential mechanisms for population and species differentiation across this geographic range.


Conservation; Indian Ocean; Phylogeography; Pleistocene; Taxonomy; Tursiops aduncus

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center