Research Article

Deep genetic divergence between geographically isolated populations of the goldie barb (Barbus pallidus) in South Africa: potential taxonomic and conservation implications

Published in: African Zoology
Volume 50, issue 1, 2015, pages: 5–10
DOI: 10.1080/15627020.2015.1021164
Author(s): Albert ChakonaSouth African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa, Willem S MalherbeSouth African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa, Gavin GouwsSouth African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa, Ernst R SwartzSouth African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa

Abstract

Barbus pallidus as it is presently defined has a disjunct distribution that is divided between northern and southern populations in South Africa. Sequence data from the cytochrome b gene region showed two distinct lineages that correspond to these geographically distant areas. Divergence between these two lineages was relatively high (5.5–6.5%) and comparable to typical interspecific divergences found between closely related southern African cyprinid fishes. Based on this deep genetic divergence, we conclude that the northern lineage may represent a previously unrecognised species or may belong to a different, but known species or species complex not associated with ‘true’ B. pallidus. These findings add to a growing body of evidence that freshwater fish diversity in southern Africa requires major revision.

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