Evidence of cryptic species in the genus Tinaminyssus (Acari: Rhinonyssidae) based on morphometrical and molecular data
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The study of cryptic species allows to describe and to understand biodiversity, and the evolutionary processes shaping it. Mites of the family Rhinonyssidae are permanent parasites of the nasal cavities of birds, currently including about 500 described species and 12 genera. Here, we tested the hypothesis that mites from five populations of the genus Tinaminyssus—three isolated from European turtle doves (Streptopelia turtur), and two from Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto; Aves: Columbiformes)—are, in fact, two cryptic species inhabiting different hosts. First, we performed a morphometrical study on 16 traits. Then, we used the ITS1-5.8S rDNA-ITS2 nuclear region (ITS region), and a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c-oxidase 1 (COI) to carry out phylogenetic and species delimitation analyses on Tinaminyssus species. Morphological analyses revealed a lack of biometric differentiation among Tinaminyssus populations from the two host species. However, molecular analyses indicated a high degree of genetic differentiation between populations of Tinaminyssus sp. from S. turtur and S. decaocto. Overall, results show that they can be considered as different cryptic species, suggesting a case of evolutionary stasis, likely because of the anatomical similarity between closely-related bird host species.
KeywordsCOI DNA barcoding ITS region Mites Molecular systematics Rhinonyssidae
The present work was supported by a grant from the V Plan Propio de Investigación of the University of Seville, Spain. We thank to Centro Municipal Zoosanitario de Sevilla, and especially to Mr. Francisco Peña Fernández and Mr. Rafael Cuadrado Nieto for providing some of the samples. We also thank to Mr. Geoffrey Giddings for the critical reading of the manuscript.
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