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Two geographically non-overlapping species are currently described within the sparid genus Spondyliosoma: Spondyliosoma cantharus (Black Seabream) occurring across Mediterranean and eastern Atlantic waters from NW Europe to Angola; and S. emarginatum (Steentjie) considered endemic to southern Africa. To address prominent knowledge gaps this study investigated range-wide phylogeographic structure across both species. Mitochondrial DNA sequences revealed deep phylogeographic structuring with 4 regionally partitioned reciprocally monophyletic clades; a Mediterranean clade and three more closely related Atlantic clades (NE Atlantic, Angolan, and South Africa (corresponding to S. emarginatum)). Divergence and distribution of the lineages reflects survival in, and expansion from, disjunct glacial refuge areas. Cytonuclear differentiation of S. emarginatum supports its validity as a distinct species endemic to South African waters. However, the results also indicate that S. cantharus may be a cryptic species complex wherein the various regional lineages represent established/incipient species. A robust multi-locus genetic assessment combining morphological data and detailing interactions among lineages is needed to determine the full diversity within Spondyliosoma and the most adequate biological and taxonomic status. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of fish biology
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