Phylogeographic Patterns of Tylos (Isopoda: Oniscidea) in the Pacific Region Between Southern California and Central Mexico, and Mitochondrial Phylogeny of the Genus
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Isopods in the genus Tylos are distributed in tropical and subtropical sandy intertidal beaches throughout the world. These isopods have biological characteristics that are expected to severely restrict their long-distance dispersal potential: (1) they are direct developers (i.e., as all peracarids, they lack a planktonic stage); (2) they cannot survive in the sea for long periods of immersion (i.e., only a few hours); (3) they actively avoid entering the water; and (4) they are restricted to the sandy intertidal portion that is wet, but not covered by water. Because of these traits, high levels of genetic differentiation are anticipated among allopatric populations of Tylos. We studied the phylogeographic patterns of Tylos in the northern East Pacific region between southern California and central Mexico, including the Gulf of California. We discovered high levels of cryptic biodiversity for this isopod, consistent with expectations from its biology. We interpreted the phylogeographic patterns of Tylos in relation to past geological events in the region, and compared them with those of Ligia, a co-distributed non-vagile coastal isopod. Furthermore, we assessed the usefulness of the shape of the ventral plates of the fifth pleonite for distinguishing genetically divergent lineages of Tylos in the study area. Finally, mitochondrial phylogenenetic analyses to identify the most appropriate outgroup taxa for Tylos in the study area, which included 17 of the 21 currently recognized species, provided important insights on the evolutionary history of this genus.
Lee, Eun Jung 1974- (2012). Phylogeographic Patterns of Tylos (Isopoda: Oniscidea) in the Pacific Region Between Southern California and Central Mexico, and Mitochondrial Phylogeny of the Genus. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from