Integrative species delimitation in the common ophiuroid Ophiothrix angulata (Echinodermata: Ophiuroidea): insights from COI, ITS2, arm coloration, and geometric morphometrics
Hernández-Díaz YQ, Solis F, Beltrán-López RG, Benítez HA, Díaz-Jaimes P, Paulay G.
Ophiothrix angulata (Say, 1825) is one of the most common and well-known ophiuroids in the Western Atlantic, with a wide geographic and bathymetric range. The taxonomy of this species has been controversial for a century because of its high morphological variability. Here we integrate information from DNA sequence data, color patterns, and geometric morphometrics to assess species delimitation and geographic differentiation in O. angulata. We found three deeply divergent mtDNA-COI clades (K2P 17.0–27.9%). ITS2 nuclear gene and geometric morphometrics of dorsal and ventral arm plates differentiate one of these lineages, as do integrative species delineation analyses, making this a confirmed candidate species.