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Systematics of the European Endangered Crayfish Species Austropotamobius Pallipes (Decapoda: Astacidae) with a Re-Examination of the Status of Austropotamobius Berndhauseri

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Abstract The status of Austropotamobius berndhauseri (Crustacea, Decapoda) was re-examined by the combination of two recent genetic studies based on the analysis of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene obtained from sampling across the entire range of the white-clawed crayfish species complex. From the phylogenetic tree obtained, the results clearly demonstrate two clusters (A and B) separated by a strong genetic divergence (5.0 ± 1.0%) corresponding to A. italicus and A. pallipes species. Within A. italicus, three mtDNA lineages were found corresponding to A. i. italicus, A. i. carinthiacus, and A. i. carsicus. Austropotamobius berndhauseri specimens are not genetically distinct from A. i. carinthiacus distributed in Austria. This group is more closely related to A. i. italicus (1.4 ± 0.5%) than A. i. carsicus (3.6 ± 0.7%) which is concordant with allozyme data. These data support the redefinition of A. berndhauseri as being A. italicus carsicus.

Affiliations: 1: Université de Poitiers, Laboratoire de Génétique et Biologie des Populations de Crustacés, UMR 6556, 40 avenue du Recteur Pineau, F-86022 Poitiers cedex, France (corresponding author (FG)


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