Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 339–343 | Cite as

Playing hide-and-seek with the tiny dragonfly: DNA barcoding discriminates multiple lineages of Nannophya pygmaea in Asia

  • V. L. LowEmail author
  • M. Sofian-Azirun
  • Y. Norma-Rashid


We examined the utility of DNA barcode data for assessing genetic diversity of the tiny dragonfly Nannophya pygmaea Rambur in Asia. Data analyses inferred from the barcode region of cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) were performed with Malaysian N. pygmaea, along with the existing COI haplotypes distributed in Asia. We applied four species delimitation analyses [automatic barcode gap discovery (ABGD), generalised mixed yule coalescent (GMYC), poisson tree processes maximum likelihood (PTP_ML) and poisson tree processes simple heuristic solutions (PTP_sh)] to investigate potential lineages in this geographically widespread species. Based on our dataset, we provisionally recognize four distinct lineages or operational taxonomic units of N. pygmaea, which were represented by the taxa from Japan/Korea, China/Laos/Taiwan, Malaysia and Vietnam, respectively. Phylogenetic analyses showed two well-supported assemblages of N. pygmaea: one restricted to the taxa from Malaysia and Vietnam; and the other covering all populations further north (i.e., China, Japan, Korea, Laos and Taiwan). An extraordinarily high degree of genetic distance (up to >12 %) was detected between these two assemblages—suggesting they represent two separate species.


COI gene Distinct lineages Odonata Species complex 



This study was supported by the research grants from the University of Malaya (RG209-13SUS) and Malaysian Ministry of Education, Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FP045-2013A).


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of ScienceUniversity of MalayaKuala LumpurMalaysia

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