A preliminary look at the phylogeography of the monotypic cave beetle genus Darlingtonea (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

Monday, November 11, 2013
Exhibit Hall 4 (Austin Convention Center)
Olivia Boyd , Biology, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
T. Keith Philips , Biology, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY
Current knowledge of the relationships among North American species of cave-specialized Trechines is based solely on morphology. The species Darlingtonea kentuckensis Valentine 1952 is widely distributed across karst regions of Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. Morphological variability and preliminary genetic evidence for reproductive isolation among D. kentuckensis populations suggest that undescribed cryptic species or subspecies exist and should be recognized as distinct species. Both morphological and molecular data will be needed in order to reliably predict species boundaries in this group. Further sampling and examination of genetic divergence among and within D. kentuckensis populations and other species will illuminate speciation pattern and process in troglobites and serve as a biological source of information about regional cave connectivity.