ZooKeys 16: 319-345, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.16.128
Systematics and phylogeography of the Dysdera erythrina species complex (Araneae, Dysderidae) in Sardinia
Miquel Arnedo, Fulvio Gasparo, Vera Opatova
Abstract Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean and, together with Corsica and nearby mainland areas, one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the region. The origin of Sardinia traces back to the opening of the western Mediterranean in the late Oligocene. This geological event and the subsequent Messinian Salinity Crisis and Pleistocene glacial cycles have had a major impact on local biodiversity. The Dysdera woodlouse hunter spiders are one of the most diverse ground-dweller groups in the Mediterranean. Here we describe the first two species of this genus endemic to Sardinia: Dysdera jana sp. n. and Dysdera shardana sp. n. The two species show contrasting allopatric distribution: D. jana sp. n. is a narrow endemic while D. shardana sp. n. is distributed throughout most of the island. A multi-gene DNA sequence phylogenetic analys based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes supports the close relationships of the new species to the type species of the genus Dysdera erythrina. Age estimates reject Oligocene origin of the new Dysdera species and identify the Messinian Salinity Crises as the most plausible period for the split between Sardinian endemics and their closest relatives. Phylogeographic analysis reveals deep genetic divergences and population structure in Dysdera shardana sp. n., suggesting that restriction to gene flow probably due to environmental factors could explain local speciation events.