Phylogeography of a successful aerial disperser: the golden orb spider Nephila on Indian Ocean islands

BMC Evolutionary Biology
Matjaž Kuntner, Ingi Agnarsson


The origin and diversification patterns of lineages across the Indian Ocean islands are varied due to the interplay of the complex geographic and geologic island histories, the varying dispersal abilities of biotas, and the proximity to major continental landmasses. Our aim was to reconstruct phylogeographic history of the giant orbweaving spider (Nephila) on western Indian Ocean islands (Madagascar, Mayotte, Réunion, Mauritius, Rodrigues), to test its origin and route of dispersal, and to examine the consequences of good dispersal abilities for colonization and diversification, in comparison with related spiders (Nephilengys) inhabiting the same islands, and with other organisms known for over water dispersal. We used mitochondrial (COI) and nuclear (ITS2) markers to examine phylogenetic and population genetic patterns in Nephila populations and species. We employed Bayesian and parsimony methods to reconstruct phylogenies and haplotype networks, respectively, and calculated genetic distances, fixation indices, and estimated clade ages under a relaxed clock model. Our results suggest an African origin of Madagascar Nephila inaurata populations via Cenozoic dispersal, and the colonization of the Mascarene islands from Madagasca...Continue Reading


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Mar 22, 2013·PloS One·Martin Nyffeler, Mirjam Knörnschild
Jan 28, 2014·PloS One·Ingi AgnarssonMatjaž Kuntner
Jun 4, 2014·PloS One·Matjaž KuntnerJonathan A Coddington
Sep 18, 2015·BMC Evolutionary Biology·Sven BradlerThomas R Buckley
Jul 3, 2013·Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution·Matjaž KuntnerIngi Agnarsson
Dec 20, 2016·Scientific Reports·Xiaowei CaoIngi Agnarsson
Jul 22, 2014·Molecular Ecology Resources·Klemen Čandek, Matjaž Kuntner
Jan 25, 2019·Scientific Reports·Klemen ČandekMatjaž Kuntner
Nov 16, 2016·Scientific Reports·Shakira G Quiñones-LebrónMatjaž Kuntner
Jan 18, 2018·Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution·Jesús A Ballesteros, Gustavo Hormiga
May 1, 2021·Scientific Reports·Eva TurkMatjaž Kuntner

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