Morphological and genetic variation indicate cryptic species within Lamarck’s little sea star, Parvulastra (=Patiriella) exigua

Hart, Michael W., Keever, Carson C., Dartnall, Alan J., and Byrne, Maria (2006) Morphological and genetic variation indicate cryptic species within Lamarck’s little sea star, Parvulastra (=Patiriella) exigua. Biological Bulletin, 210 (2). pp. 158-167.

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The asterinid sea star Parvulastra exigua (Lamarck) is a common member of temperate intertidal marine communities from geographically widespread sites around the southern hemisphere. Individuals from Australian populations lay benthic egg masses (through orally directed gonopores) from which nonplanktonic offspring hatch and metamorphose without a dispersing planktonic larval phase. Scattered reports in the taxonomic literature refer to a similar form in southern Africa with aborally directed gonopores (and possibly broadcast spawning of planktonic eggs and larvae); such differences would be consistent with cryptic species variation. Surveys of morphology and mtDNA sequences have revealed cryptic species diversity in other asterinid genera. Here we summarize the taxonomic history of Lamarck’s "Astérie exiguë" and survey morphological variation (the location of the gonopores) for evidence that some P. exigua populations include cryptic species with a different mode of reproduction. We found strong evidence for multiple species in the form of two phenotypes and modes of reproduction (oral and aboral gonopore locations) in populations from southern Africa and islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Both modes of reproduction have broad geographic ranges. These results are consistent with previously published genetic data that indicate multiple species in African and island (but not Australian) populations.

Item ID: 4068
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1939-8697
Keywords: asterin sea star; Parvulastra exigua; Lamarck; asterinid sea stars
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Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2009 03:54
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
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