Journal Article

DNA sequences of troglobitic nicoletiid insects supports Sierra de El Abra and the Sierra de Guatemala as a single biogeographic area: Implications for Astyanax

Espinasa, L., Bartolo, N.D. and Newkirk, C.E.

Record Number:
3951
Year:
2014
Journal:
Subterranean Biology
Pages:
35-44
Volume:
13
Abstract:
The blind Mexican tetra fish, Astyanax mexicanus, has become the most influential model for research of cave adapted organisms. Many authors assume that the Sierra de Guatemala populations and the Sierra de El Abra populations are derived from two independent colonizations. This assumption arises in part from biogeography. The 100 m high, 100 m wide Servilleta Canyon of the Boquillas River separates both mountain ranges and is an apparent barrier for troglobite dispersion. Anelpistina quinterensis (Nicoletiidae, Zygentoma, Insecta) is one of the most troglomorphic nicoletiid silverfish insects ever described. 16S rRNA sequences support that this species migrated underground to reach both mountain ranges within less than 12,000 years. Furthermore, literature shows a plethora of aquatic and terrestrial cave restricted species that inhabit both mountain ranges. Thus, the Servilleta canyon has not been an effective biological barrier that prevented underground migration of troglobites between the Sierra de Guatemala and the Sierra de El Abra. The Boquillas River has changed its course throughout time. Caves that in the past connected the two Sierras were only recently geologically truncated by the erosion of the new river course. It is likely that, with the geological changes of the area and throughout the 2-8 million years of evolutionary history of cave Astyanax, there have been opportunities to migrate across the Servilleta canyon.
Times Cited:
1
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