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Allopatric speciation of Meteterakis (Heterakoidea: Heterakidae), a highly dispersible parasitic nematode, in the East Asian islands

Sata, Naoya
Parasitology international 2018 v.67 no.4 pp. 493-500
Heterakidae, allopatric speciation, amphibians, biogeography, endoparasites, fauna, genetic distance, geographical distribution, islands, phylogeny, reptiles
To clarify how the species diversity of highly dispersible parasites has developed, molecular phylogenetic analyses of Meteterakis spp., multi-host endoparasitic nematodes of reptiles and amphibians from the East Asian islands, were conducted. The results demonstrated the existence of two major clades, the J- and A-groups, with exclusive geographic ranges that are discordant with the host faunal province. However, diversification within the J-group was concordant with the host biogeography and suggested co-divergence of this group with vicariance of the host fauna. In contrast, the phylogenetic pattern within the A-group was discordant with host biogeography and implied diversification by repeated colonization. In addition, the mosaic distribution pattern of a J-group and an A-group species in the Japanese Archipelago, along with comparison of population genetic parameters and the genetic distance from their closest relatives, suggested the initial occurrence of a J-group lineage followed by exclusion in the western part of this region caused by invasion of an A-group lineage. Thus, the present study suggested that the species diversity of highly dispersible parasites including Meteterakis is formed not only by co-divergence with host faunal vicariance but also by peripatric speciation and exclusive interactions between species.