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Phylogeny of the freshwater crabs of the Western Ghats (Brachyura, Gecarcinucidae)

Klaus, Sebastian and Fernandez, Katrina and Yeo, Darren CJ (2014) Phylogeny of the freshwater crabs of the Western Ghats (Brachyura, Gecarcinucidae). In: ZOOLOGICA SCRIPTA, 43 (6). pp. 651-660.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1111/zsc.12078


The Western Ghats mountain range in India is a biodiversity hotspot for a variety of organisms including a large number of endemic freshwater crab species and genera of the family Gecarcinucidae. The phylogenetic relationships of these taxa, however, have remained poorly understood. Here, we present a phylogeny that includes 90% of peninsular Indian genera based on mitochondrial 16S rRNA and nuclear histone H3 gene sequences. The subfamily Gecarcinucinae was found to be paraphyletic with members of two other subfamilies, Liotelphusinae and Parathelphusinae, nesting within. We identify a well-supported clade consisting of north Indian species and one clade comprising mostly south Indian species that inhabit the southern sky islands' of the Western Ghats. Relationships of early diverging genera, however, were resolved with low support. This study also includes newly sampled material from an isolated mountain plateau in the northern part of the Western Ghats, representing a new species of Gubernatoriana, which we describe here as Gubernatoriana basalticola sp. n. The new species is immediately distinguished from its congeners and the related genera Ghatiana and Inglethelphusa by its carapace and cheliped morphology, which are unique among Indian freshwater crabs. This study highlights the urgent need for continued faunistic studies to assess the true diversity of gecarcinucid crabs on the Indian subcontinent, to fully understand the basal phylogenetic relationships within the freshwater crab family Gecarcinucidae, and to evaluate the conservation threat status and biogeography of the montane freshwater crabs of the Western Ghats.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copy right for this article belongs to the WILEY-BLACKWELL, 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Centre for Ecological Sciences
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2014 04:47
Last Modified: 04 Dec 2014 04:47
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/50361

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