Testing the colour variability of Eubranchus farrani (Alder & Hancock, 1844); Really a single species?

Molecular tools have shown that different colour forms in Nudibranchia (Mollusca, Gastropoda) may hide cryptic species complexes. Actually, aeolids seem to be a rich group in terms of cryptic species since in the last four years more than 20 of these were detected and/or described. Eubranchus farrani (Alder & Hancock, 1844) is a common aeolid species distributed from Norway to the Western Mediterranean. Several different colour forms have been traditionally attributed to this species. Here, an integrative taxonomy is used to test the different colour forms of E. farrani. For this aim, fragments of two mitochondrial (COI and 16S) and one nuclear gene (H3) were sequenced from specimens obtained from different European localities. Bayesian Inference (BI) and Maximum Likelihood analyses (ML) were performed to infer the phylogenetic hypothesis. This study was complemented by a morphological study and the Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery method (ABGD) for species delimitation. This study shows that Eubranchus farrani is indeed a species complex composed of two congeneric species.

Promotor(s) & Supervisor: Leila Carmona Barnosi
Thesis Institute: Göteborg University

ISCED Categories

The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0511 - Biology", "0521 - Ecology