, Volume 835, Issue 1, pp 147–163 | Cite as

Cryptic diversity in Telestes pleurobipunctatus (Actinopterygii; Leuciscidae) as a consequence of historical biogeography in the Ionian Freshwater Ecoregion (Greece, Albania)

  • Ivana BujEmail author
  • Radek Šanda
  • Stamatis Zogaris
  • Jörg Freyhof
  • Matthias F. Geiger
  • Jasna Vukić
Primary Research Paper


It was reported that the complex geological history of the southern Balkans caused diversification of terrestrial species. On the other hand, knowledge of the evolutionary history of freshwater biota is scarce. In order to contribute to an understanding of the historical biogeography of the region’s freshwaters, as well as to describe intraspecific diversity and structure of a species distributed in the Ionian Ecoregion, we have analysed the population genetic structure and evolutionary history of Telestes pleurobipunctatus. Analyses were based on the mitochondrial gene for cytochrome b from samples covering the whole distribution range of this species. A high level of intraspecific structuring was revealed inside T. pleurobipunctatus. Its evolutionary history corroborates the complexity of historical geologic events in the area. Telestes pleurobipunctatus comprises two main clades (northern and southern), which have been separated from each other for about seven million years and that are further divided. The Louros and Arachthos Rivers were denoted as ancestral geographic ranges of the northern clade. The distribution range of the ancestor of the southern clade seems to comprise rivers flowing into the Patraikos Gulf. Structures within the two main clades, as well as timing of diversification events are different, implying separate evolutionary courses.


Conservation priorities Geological history Mediterranean biodiversity Population genetic structure Telestes 



This work was supported by the Czech Science Foundation (Project GA15-19382S), institutional resources of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports of the Czech Republic (JV) and Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic (DKRVO 2019-2023/VI.4.a, National Museum, 00023272) (RS). IB received support from the SYNTHESYS Programme project CZ-TAF-4228 at the National Museum Prague, financed by European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP7 “Capacities” Programme. Support came also from the Project FREDIE ( funded by the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (PAKT) program of the Leibniz Association (JF, MFG). We are grateful to D. Kommatas and L. Vardakas for assistance in the field, as well as to A. N. Economou for discussions on the evolutionary history of T. pleurobipunctatus.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of ZagrebZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.National MuseumPragueCzech Republic
  3. 3.Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Institute of Marine Biological Sciences and Inland WatersAnavissosGreece
  4. 4.German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  5. 5.Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander KoenigBonnGermany
  6. 6.Department of Ecology, Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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