Abstract: Purroy et al 2016: Combined use of morphological and molecular tools to resolve species misidentifications in the Bivalvia: The case of Glycymeris glycymeris and G. pilosa

 

 

Morphological and molecular tools were combined to resolve the misidentification between Glycymeris glycymeris and Glycymeris pilosa from Atlantic and Mediterranean populations. The ambiguous literature on the taxonomic status of these species requires this confirma- tion as a baseline to studies on their ecology and sclerochronology. We used classical and landmark-based morphometric approaches and performed bivariate and multivariate anal- yses to test for shell character interactions at the individual and population level. Both approaches generated complementary information. The former showed the shell width to length ratio and the valve asymmetry to be the main discriminant characters between Atlan- tic and Mediterranean populations. Additionally, the external microsculpture of additional and finer secondary ribs in G. glycymeris discriminates it from G. pilosa. Likewise, land- mark-based geometric morphometrics revealed a stronger opisthogyrate beak and proso- detic ligament in G. pilosa than G. glycymeris. Our Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses based on COI and ITS2 genes identified that G. glycymeris and G. pilosa form two separate monophyletic clades with mean interspecific divergence of 11% and 0.9% for COI and ITS2, respectively. The congruent patterns of morphometric analysis together with mitochondrial and nuclear phylogenetic reconstructions indicated the separa- tion of the two coexisting species. The intraspecific divergence occurred during the Eocene and accelerated during the late Pliocene and Pleistocene. Glycymeris pilosa showed a high level of genetic diversity, appearing as a more robust species whose tolerance of environ- mental conditions allowed its expansion throughout the Mediterranean.