The name game: Morpho-molecular species boundaries in the genus Psammocora (Cnidaria, Scleractinia)

Francesca Benzoni, Fabrizio Stefani, Michel Pichon, Paolo Galli

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    The morphometric and molecular boundaries between twelve Psammocora (Cnidaria, Scleractinia) nominal species were addressed. The type specimens of Psammocora haimianaMilne Edwards & Haime, 1851, P. togianensisUmbgrove, 1940, P. foliumUmbgrove, 1939, P. digitataMilne Edwards & Haime, 1851, Maeandroseris australiaeRousseau, 1854, P. samoensisHoffmeister, 1925, P. superficialisGardiner, 1898, P. profundacellaGardiner, 1898, P. nierstrasziVan der Horst, 1921, P. verrilliVaughan, 1907, and P. albopictaBenzoni, 2006, were analysed together with specimens from museum collections, including those depicted in widely cited taxonomic descriptions, and material collected for this study in different parts of the Indo-Pacific. Morphometric analyses of the dimensions of skeletal structures allowed the identification of groups of specimens with similar morphologies. Congruency between these groups and current species whose synonymies and descriptions were found in recent taxonomic references was, hence, investigated and the species revised. Finally, the phylogenetic relationships of a representative subset of specimens were reconstructed based on rDNA and COI, thus allowing a direct link between morphologic and genetic information. Incongruence between type of morphology and literature descriptions was evidenced for some widely recognised species. Based on this integrated approach, five species were unambiguously identified. © 2010 The Linnean Society of London.
    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)421-456
    Number of pages36
    JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Nov 1 2010


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