Integrative Taxonomic Study of the Purse Crab Genus Persephona Leach, 1817 Brachyura: Leucosiidae: Combining Morphology and Molecular DataReport as inadecuate




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Marine crabs of the genus Persephona Leach, 1817 are restricted to American waters of the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. Subfamilial assignment of this taxon has varied between authors and its species composition remain in question. We conducted a comparative study based on morphology and molecular phylogenetics for all ten recognized species of Persephona, along with Iliacantha hancocki. We tested whether Persephona finneganae, P. lichtensteinii, and P. crinita represent a single species as suggested by some authors; whether specimens identified as P. punctata, P. mediterranea, and P. aquilonaris warrant treatment as separate species; and whether I. hancocki should be regarded as a junior synonym of P. subovata. Diagnostic morphological characters of the carapace, chelipeds, and third maxillipeds were used along with gonopod male first pleopod 1 features and live coloration. The 16S rRNA and the Cytochrome Oxidase I COI DNA barcoding mitochondrial genes were used as molecular markers. Both morphological and molecular analyses revealed that putative specimens of P. crinita from Brazil and those assigned to P. finneganae were no different from specimens presently assignable to P. lichtensteinii. P. finneganae is regarded as a junior synonym of P. lichtensteinii, and we apply P. crinita only to specimens we examined from the Gulf of Mexico. Specimens from Brazil previously reported as P. crinita are herewith concluded to represent P. lichtensteinii. Additionally, P. townsendi is a junior synonym of P. orbicularis, Iliacantha hancocki is concluded to be a junior synonym of P. subovata, while P. aquilonaris and P. mediterranea are found to represent separate species. On the basis of our revisions, eight species of Persephona are considered valid, and the reported distribution for P. crinita is restricted.



Author: Tatiana Magalhães, Rafael Robles, Darryl L. Felder, Fernando L. Mantelatto

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/



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