Cryptic speciation and the circumpolarity debate: A case study on endemic Southern Ocean octopuses using the COI barcode of life
Three hundred and fifty specimens of the endemic Southern Ocean octopus genus Pareledone, were sequenced for the barcoding gene COI. Geographic coverage comprised the South Shetland Islands, the Ross Sea, Adélie Land, George V Land, the Weddell Sea, under the site of the former Larsen B ice shelf, Prydz Bay, the South Orkney Islands and the Amundsen Sea. The greatest number of specimens was captured at the three first-mentioned localities. At least 11 species were represented in the samples and the analyses revealed cryptic species. Six species were found to have extended distributions. Circumpolarity is supported for at least one species. Evidence is presented for a barrier to gene flow to the west of the Antarctic Peninsula, with haplotypes of P. aequipapillae becoming progressively more diverse in a clockwise direction from the South Shetland Islands to the Amundsen Sea. This pattern is akin to that seen in ring species, although we suggest that comparatively warm bottom water acts as a physical barrier preventing completion of the ring.
Authors: Allcock, A. Louise., Barratt, Iain., Eleaume, Marc., Linse, Katrin, Norman, Mark. D., Smith, Peter. J., Steinke, Dirk, Stevens, Darren. W., Strugnell, Jan. M.