Conservation Genetics

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 233–243 | Cite as

Identity of an endangered grasshopper (Acrididae: Brachaspis): Taxonomy, molecules and conservation

  • Steven A. Trewick
Article

Abstract

Brachaspis robustus is an endangeredgrasshopper endemic to South Island, NewZealand. It is both rare and localised;occupying low altitude floodplain terraces andbraided riverbeds of the Mackenzie Basin. Thisis in stark contrast to the two other speciesin this genus (B. nivalis and B.collinus) which occupy montane habitats.Mitochondrial and nuclear sequence data wereemployed to explore genetic diversity andphylogenetic relationships of populations ofBrachaspis with a view to establishingthe status of B. robustus. Molecularevidence indicates that Brachaspisprobably radiated during the Pliocene and thatdivisions within the genus relate more tospatial distribution developed during thePleistocene than to ecology. The mitochondrial(Cytochrome oxidase I) and nuclear (ITS)sequence data indicate that Brachaspisnivalis is divided into northern and southernpopulations. The northern clade is furthersubdivided geographically. The southern cladecomprises alpine populations of B.nivalis and includes the lowland B.robustus. Additionally, it is observed thatsome morphological features previously thoughtto be specific to B. robustus also occurin members of the southern B. nivalisclade. It is suggested that the taxon B.robustus should include all of the southernBrachaspis populations. But it is arguedthat the absence of genetic evidencedistinguishing the endangered population doesnot preclude it from conservation effort. Acombination of morphological and habitatpeculiarities indicate that the survival ofB. robustus (sensu lato) isimportant to the maintenance of diversity.

conservation genetics ESU insect mtDNA MU paraphyletic 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Avise JC (1989) A role for molecular genetics in the recognition and conservation of endangered species. Trends Ecol. Evol., 4, 279–281.Google Scholar
  2. Avise JC (1994) Molecular Markers, Natural History and Evolution. Chapman & Hall, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Avise JC,Nelson WS (1989) Molecular genetic relationships of the extinct Dusky Seaside Sparrow. Science, 243, 646–648.Google Scholar
  4. Bigelow RS (1967) Grasshoppers of New Zealand: Their Taxonomy and Distribution. University of Canterbury, Christchurch.Google Scholar
  5. Bowen BW,Meylan AB,Avise JC (1991) Evolutionary distinctiveness of the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle. Nature, 352, 709–711.Google Scholar
  6. Brower AVZ (1994) Rapid morphological radiation and convergence among races of the butterfly Helioconius erato inferred from patterns of mitochondrial DNA evolution. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 91, 6491–6495.Google Scholar
  7. Brown WM,George Jr M,Wilson AC (1979) Rapid evolution of animal mitochondrial DNA. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA, 76, 1967–1971.Google Scholar
  8. Daugherty CH,Cree A,Hay JM,Thomson MB (1990) Neglected taxonomy and continuing extinctions of tuatara (Sphenodon). Nature, 347, 177–179.Google Scholar
  9. Davis CM (1986) Brachaspis robustus, Appendix 3. A survey of Sigaus minutus. Report no. 252. Department of Lands and Survey, Christchurch.Google Scholar
  10. Emerson BC,Wallis GP (1994) Species status and population genetic structure of the flightless chafer beetles Prodontria modesta and P. bicolorata (Coleoptera; Scarabaiedae) from South Island, New Zealand. Mol. Ecol., 3, 339–345.Google Scholar
  11. Fraser I (1999) Robust grasshopper (Brachaspis robustus) sightings database and monitoring methods trial. Project River Recovery report 99/01. Department of Conservation, Twizel.Google Scholar
  12. Funk DJ (1999) Molecular systematics of Cytochrome Oxidase I and 16S from Neochlamisus leaf beetles and the importance of sampling. Mol. Biol. Evol., 16, 67–82.Google Scholar
  13. Funk DJ,Futuyma DJ,Ortí G,Meyer A (1995) Mitochondrial DNA sequences and multiple data sets: a phylogenetic study of phytophagous beetles (Chrysomelidae: Ophraella). Mol. Biol. Evol., 12, 627–640.Google Scholar
  14. Green WQ (1967) A Field Study on the Polymorphism in the Grasshopper Brachaspis collinus (Acrididae). Unpl. BSc (Hons) thesis. Department of Zoology, Victoria University of Wellington.Google Scholar
  15. Hillis DM,Bull JJ (1993) An empirical test of bootstrapping as a method for assessing confidence in phylogenetic analysis. Syst. Biol., 42, 182–192.Google Scholar
  16. Irving GJ (1967) Distribution and Possible Factors in Evolution of Some New Zealand Grasshoppers. Unpublished MSc thesis. University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  17. King TL,Burke T (1999) Special Issue on gene conservation: Identification and management of genetic diversity. Mol. Ecol., 8, S1-S3.Google Scholar
  18. Knowlton N,Lee AW (1998) New date and new rates for divergence across the Isthmus of Panama. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B, 265, 2257–2263.Google Scholar
  19. Laerm J,Avise JC,Patton JC,Lansman RA (1982) Genetic determination of the status of an endangered species of pocket gopher in Georgia. J. Wild. Manag., 46, 513–518.Google Scholar
  20. Langor DW,Sperling FAH (1997) Mitochondrial DNA sequence divergence in weevils of the Pissodes strobi species complex (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Insect Mol. Biol., 6, 255–265.Google Scholar
  21. Lunt DH,Zhang D-X,Szymura JM,Hewitt GM (1996) The insect cytochrome oxidase I gene: Evolutionary patterns and conserved primers for phylogenetic studies. Insect Mol. Biol., 5, 153–165.Google Scholar
  22. Maloney R (1993) Brachaspis robustus surveys in the Mackenzie Basin, Project River Recovery report. Department of Conservation, Twizel.Google Scholar
  23. Moritz C (1994) Defining ‘evolutionary significant units’ for conservation. Trends Ecol. Evol., 9, 373–375.Google Scholar
  24. Paetkau D (1999) Using genetics to identify intraspecific conservation units: A critique of current methods. Cons. Biol., 13, 1507–1509.Google Scholar
  25. Patrick BH (1991) Insects of the Dansey ecological district. Science and Research Series No.32. Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  26. Patrick BH (1994) Hawkdun ecological district invertebrate survey. Science and Research Series No. 64. Department of Conservation, Wellington, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  27. Ryder OA (1986) Species conservation and systematics: The dilemma of subpecies. Trends Ecol. Evol., 1, 9–10.Google Scholar
  28. Schneider S,Kueffer J-M,Roessli D,Excoffier L (1997) Arlequin version 1.1: Software for Populations Genetics Data Analysis. Genetics and Biometry Laboratory, University of Geneva, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  29. Simon C,Frati F,Beckenbach A et al. (1994) Evolution, weighting and phylogenetic utility of mitochondrial gene sequences and a compilation of conserved polymerase chain reaction primers. Ann. Am. Ent. Soc., 87, 651–701.Google Scholar
  30. Sunnucks P,Hales DF (1996) Numerous transposed sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I-II in aphids of the genus Sitobion (Hemiptera: Aphididae). Mol. Biol. Evol., 13, 510–524.Google Scholar
  31. Swofford D (1998) Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony (and other Methods) PAUP* 4.0 beta version. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland.Google Scholar
  32. Szymura JM,Lunt DH,Hewitt GM (1996) The sequence and structure of the meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) mitochondrial srRNA, ND2, COI, COII, ATPase8 and 9 tRNA genes. Insect Mol. Biol., 5, 127–139.Google Scholar
  33. Talbot SL,Shields GF (1996) Phylogeography of brown bears (Ursus arctos) of Alaska and paraphyly within the Ursidae. Mol. Phyl. Evol., 5, 477–494.Google Scholar
  34. Taylor BL,Dizon AE (1999) First policy then science: Why a management unit based solely on genetic criteria cannot work. Mol. Ecol., 8, S11-S16.Google Scholar
  35. Tisdall C (1994) Setting Priorities for the Conservation of New Zealnd's Threatened Plants and Animals, 2nd edn. Department of Conservation, Wellington.Google Scholar
  36. Trewick SA (1998) Sympatric cryptic species in New Zealand Onychophora. Biol. J. Linn. Soc., 63, 307–329.Google Scholar
  37. Trewick SA,Wallis GP,Morgan-Richards M (2000) Phylogeographic pattern correlates with Pliocene mountain-building in the alpine scree weta (Orthoptera, Anostostomatidae). Mol. Ecol., 9, 657–666.Google Scholar
  38. Vogler AP,DeSalle R (1994) Diagnosing units of conservation management. Cons. Biol., 8, 354–363.Google Scholar
  39. White EG (1994) Ecological research and monitoring of the protected grasshopper Brachaspis robustus in the Mackenzie Basin. Science and Research Series No. 77, Department of Conservation, Wellington.Google Scholar
  40. White TJ,Bruns T,Lee S,Taylor J (1990) Amplification and direct sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA genes for phylogenetics. In: PCR Protocols, a Guide to Methods and Apllications (eds. Innes MA,Gelfand DH,Sninsky JJ,White TJ), pp. 315–322. Academic Press, San Diego.Google Scholar
  41. Wilson EO,Brown WL (1953) The subspecies concept and its taxonomic application. Syst. Zool., 2, 97–111.Google Scholar
  42. Wirth T,Guellec RL,Vancassel M,Veuille M (1998) Molecular and reproductive characterization of sibling species in the European earwig (Forcula auricularia). Evolution, 52, 260–265.Google Scholar
  43. Zhang D-Z,Hewitt GM (1996) Assessment of the universality and utility of a set of conserved mitochondrial COI primers in insects. Insect Mol. Biol., 6, 143–150.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven A. Trewick
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of OtagoNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of Plant and Microbial SciencesUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations