Comparative Phylogeography of the Atlantic Forest Endemic Sloth (Bradypus torquatus) and the Widespread Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus) (Bradypodidae, Xenarthra)

Abstract

The comparative phylogeographic study of the maned sloth (Bradypus torquatus) and the three-toed sloth (Bradypus variegatus) was performed using a segment of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) control region. We examined 19 B. torquatus from two regions and 47 B. variegatus from three distant regions of Atlantic forest. This first characterization of molecular diversity indicates a great diversity (B. torquatus: h = 0.901 ± 0.039 and π = 0.012 ± 0.007; B. variegatus: h = 0.699 ± 0.039 and π = 0.010 ± 0.006) and very divergent mitochondrial lineages within each sloth species. The different sampled regions carry distinct and non-overlapping sets of mtDNA haplotypes and are genetically divergent. This phylogeographic pattern may be characteristic of sloth species. In addition, we infer that two main phylogeographic groups exist in the Atlantic forest representing a north and south distinct divergence.

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Correspondence to Nadia de Moraes-Barros.

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de Moraes-Barros, N., Silva, J.A.B., Miyaki, C.Y. et al. Comparative Phylogeography of the Atlantic Forest Endemic Sloth (Bradypus torquatus) and the Widespread Three-toed Sloth (Bradypus variegatus) (Bradypodidae, Xenarthra). Genetica 126, 189–198 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10709-005-1448-x

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Keywords

  • Bradypus
  • conservation genetic
  • evolution
  • phylogeography
  • sloth