Hidden diversity of the genus Trinomys (Rodentia: Echimyidae): phylogenetic and populational structure analyses uncover putative new lineages
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Trinomys, one of the most species-rich spiny rat genera in Brazil, is widely distributed in Caatinga, Cerrado and Atlantic Forest biomes, and currently includes ten recognized species, three of which are polytypic. Although some studies employing molecular data have been conducted to better characterize phylogenetic relationships among species, 19 nominal taxa have been suggested, implying considerable incongruence regarding species boundaries. We addressed this incongruence by intensively sampling all species across the geographic distribution of the genus. In addition to publicly available data, we generated 182 mt-Cytb gene sequences, and employed phylogenetic and computational species delimitation methods to obtain a clearer picture of the genus diversity. Moreover, we evaluated populational diversity within each accepted species, considering their geographical distribution and a timescale for the evolution of the genus. Beyond confirming the general patterns described for the evolution of the group, this new analysis suggests that Trinomys is comprised of at least 16 evolutionary lineages, 13 of them recognized as species or subspecies, and three never before characterized. This study highlights the importance of increased sample sizes and computational species delimitation methods in uncovering hidden diversity in Trinomys.
Nacif CL, Bastos DL, Mello B, Lazar A, Hingst-Zaher E, Geise L, et al. Hidden diversity of the genus Trinomys (Rodentia: Echimyidae): phylogenetic and populational structure analyses uncover putative new lineages. Zool J Linn Soc. 2022 Oct; 196(4):1552-1569. doi:10.1093/zoolinnean/zlac073.
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