, Volume 713, Issue 1, pp 199–205 | Cite as

Hydra of Hawaii: phylogenetic relationships with continental species

  • R. D. Campbell
  • A. R. Iñiguez
  • A. J. Iñiguez
  • D. E. Martínez
Primary Research Paper


The presence of freshwater hydra in the Hawaiian Islands, over 3,700 km from the nearest continental margin, provokes the question of how these animals could reach the islands. We examined three islands for hydra and found two species (the brown hydra, Hydra vulgaris Pallas 1766, and green hydra, H. viridissima Pallas 1766) present at multiple locations on Oahu and Kauai, and at a single site on Hawaii. Phylogenetic analysis based on the internal transcribed spacer (ITS1 and ITS2) regions of ribosomal DNA indicates that all collected strains of brown hydra were closely related to each other—consistent with a single introduced origin. The analysis also shows that all sampled Hawaiian brown hydra fall within a specific clade of H. vulgaris. This clade is sister to a North American clade and nested within a deeper North/Central America clade. The clade with all the Hawaiian brown hydra includes also individuals from Southern California, suggesting a Californian origin for the brown Hawaiian hydra. Hawaiian hydra were probably transported to the islands by man.


Evolution ITS Hydrozoa Cnidaria Oceanic islands 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. D. Campbell
    • 1
  • A. R. Iñiguez
    • 2
  • A. J. Iñiguez
    • 2
  • D. E. Martínez
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Developmental and Cell BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyPomona CollegeClaremontUSA

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