Biological Invasions

, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp 2187–2201 | Cite as

Cryptic species of the Eucypris virens species complex (Ostracoda, Crustacea) from Europe have invaded Western Australia

  • A. Koenders
  • K. Martens
  • S. Halse
  • I. Schön
Original Paper


Eucypris virens, an ostracod with mixed reproduction and Holarctic distribution, forms a species complex with more than 35 cryptic species in Europe. Here, we analysed COI and LSU DNA sequence data from Western Australian E. virens to distinguish between the possibilities that vicariant processes have led to the formation of Australian E. virens species or that these ostracods have been introduced into Western Australia. Phylogenetic reconstructions, genetic networks and estimates of genetic distances all show clearly that Western Australian and European E. virens are very closely related. Some haplotypes are identical, others are only separated by one or two mutational steps. Among the Western Australian representatives of E. virens, three phylogenetic clades can be distinguished. We identified three European cryptic species as ancestors for two of the Western Australian clades and one close relative to the third Western Australian clade. We therefore conclude that E. virens has been introduced into Western Australia, most likely from western Europe, and did not diverge in Australia. In Europe, E. virens shows a typical pattern of geographic parthenogenesis while we found only asexual populations in Western Australia.


Phylogeny Network Genetic distances Cryptic species COI 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support by an ABRS-grant (nr RF211-33: ‘Biodiversity and taxonomy of Ostracoda (Crustacea) from temporary water bodies of inland Western Australia’) and of the Edith Cowan University Industry Collaboration grant. K.M. and I.S. are grateful to Bennelongia Pty Ltd for financial support during their scientific stay in Perth (2010) and acknowledge the financial contribution of the FWO Vlaanderen (Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders) for their travel grants in 2010 (V4.172.10N and V4.173.10N). K.M. and I.S. also acknowledge the financial contribution of projects (krediet aan navorsers) and G.0118.03N (projectonderzoek) of the FWO Vlaanderen (Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders). A.K. was supported by Academic Study Leave funding from the School of Natural Sciences and the Centre for Ecosystem Management, Edith Cowan University. The database of the European E. virens distribution originated from an EU Marie Curie Research Training Network ‘SexAsex’ (from Sex to Asex: a case study on interactions between sexual and asexual reproduction, contract MRTN-CT-2004-512492) of which K.M. was PI. We thank Kristiaan Hoedemakers for technical help with the figures.

Supplementary material

10530_2012_224_MOESM1_ESM.jpg (246 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (JPEG 103 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Koenders
    • 1
  • K. Martens
    • 2
    • 3
  • S. Halse
    • 4
  • I. Schön
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Centre for Ecosystem ManagementEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  2. 2.Freshwater BiologyRoyal Belgian Institute of Natural SciencesBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of GhentGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Bennelongia Environmental ConsultantsJolimontAustralia
  5. 5.Research Group ZoologyUniversity of HasseltDiepenbeekBelgium

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