Molecular evidence for co-occurring cryptic lineages within the Sepioteuthis cf. lessoniana species complex in the Indian and Indo-West Pacific Oceans

S. H. Cheng, F. E. Anderson, A. Bergman, G. N. Mahardika, Z. A. Muchlisin, B. T. Dang, H. P. Calumpong, K. S. Mohamed, G. Sasikumar, V. Venkatesan, P. H. Barber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


The big-fin reef squid, Sepioteuthis cf. lessoniana (Lesson 1930), is an important commodity species within artisanal and near-shore fisheries in the Indian and Indo-Pacific regions. While there has been some genetic and physical evidence that supports the existence of a species complex within S. cf. lessoniana, these studies have been extremely limited in scope geographically. To clarify the extent of cryptic diversity within S. cf. lessoniana, this study examines phylogenetic relationships using mitochondrial genes (cytochrome oxidase c, 16s ribosomal RNA) and nuclear genes (rhodopsin, octopine dehydrogenase) from nearly 400 individuals sampled from throughout the Indian, Indo-Pacific, and Pacific Ocean portions of the range of this species. Phylogenetic analyses using maximum likelihood methods and Bayesian inference identified three distinct lineages with no clear geographic delineations or morphological discriminations. Phylogeographic structure analysis showed high levels of genetic connectivity in the most widespread lineage, lineage C and low levels of connectivity in lineage B. This study provides significant phylogenetic evidence for cryptic lineages within this complex and confirms that cryptic lineages of S. cf. lessoniana occur in sympatry at both small and large spatial scales. Furthermore, it suggests that two closely related co-occurring cryptic lineages have pronounced differences in population structure, implying that underlying differences in ecology and/or life history may facilitate co-occurrence. Further studies are needed to assess the range and extent of cryptic speciation throughout the distribution of this complex. This information is extremely useful as a starting point for future studies exploring the evolution of diversity within Sepioteuthis and can be used to guide fisheries management efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-188
Number of pages24
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryptic diversity
  • Marine
  • Myopsidae
  • Phylogenetics
  • Sepioteuthis
  • Squids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science


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