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Published: 2017-08-17

Possible amphi-Atlantic dispersal of Scyllarus lobsters (Crustacea: Scyllaridae): molecular and larval evidence

Department of Zoology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Valencia, Spain.
Independent Researcher, Barcelona, Spain.
Institut de Ciències del Mar, CSIC. Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain.
Instituto Universitario de Investigación Marina, Universidad de Cádiz, CEIMAR, Avd República Saharaui, 11510 - Puerto Real, Cadiz, Spain.
Instituto de Ciencias Marinas de Andalucía, CSIC. Campus de Excelencia Internacional del Mar. Avda. Republica Saharaui, 2, 11519 Puerto Real, Cádiz, Spain.
UMR 7205, Institut de Systematique, Evolution et Biodiversite, Departement Systematique et Evolution, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 55 Rue Buffon, CP51, 75005 Paris, France.
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, England.
Department of Zoology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Valencia, Spain.
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, England. Centre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CEAB-CSIC), Carrer D’accés a la Cala Sant Francesc 14, 17300 Blanes, Spain. Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, UMR ISA INRA/UNSA/CNRS, Equipe BPI. 400, Route Des Chappes, Bp 167, 06903 Sophia-Antipolis, France.
Crustacea Slipper lobster phylogenetics amphi-Atlantic distribution planktonic larval duration DNA barcoding


DNA methods may contribute to better understand larval dispersal of marine lobsters. The molecular analysis of phyllosoma specimens from the East Atlantic facilitated for the first time here the description of Scyllarus subarctus Crosnier, 1970 larvae. The identification of S. subarctus phyllosomae from Cabo Verde confirmed that this species has a much wider geographic distribution than previously thought. Moreover, the phylogenetic analyses placed S. depressus from the Western Atlantic together with the African species S. subarctus, instead of other American Scyllarus. In fact, S. depressus and S. subarctus formed a strongly supported clade with comparatively low genetic differentiation, suggesting the possibility that they might be recently-diverged sister taxa with an amphi-Atlantic distribution. Support for this is provided by the examination of S. subarctus larvae and the lack of any qualitative character that would allow for differentiation between the adults of S. subarctus and S. depressus. The results obtained highlight the challenges of current Scyllarus systematics and the need for further research on Atlantic slipper lobsters.



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