Wolfram Graf, Dennis Stradner & Steve Weiss

A new Siphonoperla species from the Eastern Alps (Plecoptera: Chloroperlidae), with comments on the genus

Zootaxa. 1891: 31-38.

We describe a new species of stonefly from the genus Siphonoperla, from a glacial refuge in the Eastern Alps of Austria. The species’ unique genitalia among congenitors as well as high genetic divergence from the co-occuring Siphonoperla montana strongly support its status as a distinct species. We describe Siphonoperla ottomoogi nov. sp. based on morphological and genetic characteristics as well as provide notes on its presumed habitat and distribution. Further notes on the biogeography of the genus are provided.

Steve Weiss, Dennis Stradner & Wolfram Graf

Molecular systematics, evolution and zoogeography of the stonefly genus Siphonoperla (Insecta: Plecoptera, Chloroperlidae)

Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research. 50(1): 19-29.

The stonefly genus Siphonoperla Zwick, 1967 (Chloroperlidae) ranges from the Atlas Mountains of North Africa, throughout Europe and east to the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in Armenia. Systematic relationships within the genus are unknown. We provide the first molecular phylogenetic reconstruction of the genus, based on sequence variation of 1348 bp of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene and relate this phylogeny to a few key morphological features as well as zoogeographical perspectives. A total of 15 taxa (32 individuals), including four outgroup species (Chloroperla Newman, 1836 and Xanthoperla Zwick, 1967) were screened. Monophyly of Siphonoperla, as well as each purported taxon was supported, with net pairwise distances ranging from 0.7% to 13.7%. Within-taxon variability ranged from 0% to 6.2%, whereby the upper value relates to Siphonoperla torrentium Pictet, 1841 represented in our sample by three allopatric subspecific taxa. These taxa, displayed as a polytomy with an estimated time to the most recent common ancestor of about 5.4 Myr, are also shown to have distinct genitalia. These data could be used to support a species-level distinction for the three subspecific taxa. Siphonoperla ranged from 13% (Xanthoperla) to 16.2% (Chloroperla) divergent from the outgroup genera. The recently described Siphonoperla ottomoogi, Graf, 2008 from Austria is not closely related to the sympatric Siphonoperla montana Pictet, 1841 and is a minimum of 7.8% divergent from congenerics, supporting its status as a micro-endemic relict surviving on the edge of Alpine glaciation throughout the Pleistocene. Overall, the genus shows the highest levels of diversification in the Mediterranean and Southeast regions whereby at least some of the species found in Central Europe today may have persisted there in peri-glacial refugia throughout the Pleistocene.