Understanding the spatial and temporal evolution of biota in the tropical Andes is a major challenge, given the region's topographic complexity and high beta diversity. We used a network approach to find biogeographic regions (bioregions) based on high-resolution species distribution models for 151 endemic bird taxa. Then, we used dated molecular phylogenies of 14 genera to reconstruct the area history through a sequence of allopatric speciation processes. We identified 15 biogeographical regions and found 26 events of isolation and diversification within their boundaries that are independently confirmed with disjunct distributions of sister taxa. Furthermore, these events are spatially congruent with six geographical barriers related to warm and/or dry river valleys, discontinuities in elevation, and high peaks separating fauna from different range slopes. The most important barrier is the Marañon River Valley, which limits the boundaries of four bioregions and is congruent with eight phylogenetic distribution breaks, separating the Central and Northern Andes, where the most bioregions are found. We also show that many bioregions have diffuse and overlapping structures, with contact and transition zones that challenge previous conceptions of biogeographical regions as spatially simple in structure. This study found evidence that the drivers of our identified bioregions were processes of Andean uplift and mountain dispersal facilitated by temperature oscillations of the Pleistocene. Therefore, Andean bioregions were not formed from one simple biogeographical event in a certain time frame, but from a combination of vicariance and dispersal events, which occurred in different time periods.
Among ctenid spiders, ctenines comprise the most diverse subfamily. In this study, a new genus of Cteninae, Spinoctenus, is proposed to include the type species S. yotoco, sp. nov. Ten new species are also described: S. escalerete, S. pericos, S. eberhardi, S. spinosus, S. stephaniae, S. nambi, S. florezi, S. tequendama, S. chocoensis and S. flammigerus. Results of the parsimony and Bayesian phylogenetic analyses using morphological and behavioural characters indicate the monophyly of this genus, closely related to Phoneutria Perty, 1883 and Ctenus Walckenaer, 1805. This genus can be distinguished from the remaining Ctenidae by three unambiguous synapomorphies: embolus with folded process, tegulum with median process, and RTA curved internally close to the cymbium. A dispersal-vicariance biogeographical analysis of the genus in the Andean and Chocó regions indicates the origin of Spinoctenus in the Western and Central Andean Cordilleras. From this region, three events of dispersal occurred to the other regions (one to the Chocó and two to the Eastern Cordillera), which were subsequently followed by three events of vicariance, suggesting that dispersal and vicariance were equally important in shaping the current distribution patterns of Spinoctenus species. The discovery of this new genus containing a large number of new species in the Andean and Chocó regions highlights the current poor knowledge of the Colombian biodiversity. http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:A7DA044C-8A59-4FAE-8F3B-00D3D2498820
The species of the genus Phoneutria (Ctenidae), also called banana spiders, are considered amongst the most venomous spiders in the world. In this study we revalidate P. depilata (Strand, 1909), which had been synonymized with P. boliviensisis (F.O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1897), using morphological and nucleotide sequence data (COI and ITS-2) together with species delimitation methods. We synonymized Ctenus peregrinoides, Strand, 1910 and Phoneutria colombiana Schmidt, 1956 with P. depilata. Furthermore, we designated Ctenus signativenter Strand, 1910 as a nomen dubium because the exact identity of this species cannot be ascertained with immature specimens, but we note that the type locality suggests that the C. signativenter syntypes belong to P. depilata. We also provide species distribution models for both species of Phoneutria and test hypotheses of niche conservatism under an allopatric speciation model. Our phylogenetic analyses support the monophyly of the genus Phoneutria and recover P. boliviensis and P. depilata as sister species, although with low nodal support. In addition, the tree-based species delimitation methods also supported the separate identities of these two species. Phoneutria boliviensis and P. depilata present allopatric distributions separated by the Andean mountain system. Species distribution models indicate lowland tropical rain forest ecosystems as the most suitable habitat for these two Phoneutria species. In addition, we demonstrate the value of citizen science platforms like iNaturalist in improving species distribution knowledge based on occurrence records. Phoneutria depilata and P. boliviensis present niche conservatism following the expected neutral model of allopatric speciation. The compiled occurrence records and distribution maps for these two species, together with the morphological diagnosis of both species, will help to identify risk areas of accidental bites and assist health professionals to determine the identity of the species involved in bites, especially for P. depilata.
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