Non-monophyly of Bostrychia simpliciuscula (Ceramiales, Rhodophyta): Multiple species with very similar morphologies, a revised taxonomy of cryptic species
journal contributionposted on 23.08.2020, 22:18 by Giuseppe Zuccarello, JA West, M Kamiya
© 2017 Japanese Society of Phycology The discovery of a plethora of cryptic species in many algal groups has led to speculation as to the causes of this observation and has affected taxonomy, with reluctance to give names to species that look identical. While this is defensible for monophyletic cryptic species complexes, both our understanding of similar morphologies (crypsis) and nomenclature is challenged when we encounter non-monophyletic ‘cryptic’ species. Bostrychia simpliciuscula is a wide-ranging species in which multiple cryptic species are known. Our increased sampling shows that this species consists of four lineages that do not form a clade, but lineages are sister to species with different morphologies. Careful morphological examination shows that characters, especially branched monosiphonous laterals and rhizoid morphology in haptera, are able to distinguish these four lineages into two groups, that are still not monophyletic. The similar morphologies in these lineages could be due to convergence, but not developmental constraints or lack of time to diverge morphologically; or possibly maintenance of a generalized body plan. These lineages appear to have specific biogeographic patterns and these will be used to propose a new taxonomy. B. simpliciuscula is now confined to the tropics. Another of these lineages matches a previously described species, B. tenuissima, that was synonymized with B. simpliciuscula and is from cold temperate Australasia, and is resurrected. Another lineage is found in Japan in which a previous name is also available, B. hamana-tokidae; the last lineage is found in central New South Wales, morphologically it resembles B. tenuissima, with which it overlaps in distribution around Sydney, and is named as a new species, B. kingii sp. nov.