Sunday, February 28, 2021

[Ichthyology • 2021] Island Colonization by A ‘Rheophilic’ Fish: the Phylogeography of Garra ceylonensis (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in Sri Lanka

 Garra ceylonensis   

in Sudasinghe, Dahanukar, Raghavan, ... et Meegaskumbura, 2021.

Despite exhibiting multiple morphological adaptations to living in swiftly flowing water (rheophily), Garra ceylonensis is one of the most widely distributed freshwater fish in Sri Lanka. It is thus an ideal organism to reconstruct the evolutionary history of a widespread, yet morphologically specialized, freshwater fish in a tropical-island setting. We analysed the phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationships of G. ceylonensis based on two mitochondrial and one nuclear genes. G. ceylonensis is shown to be monophyletic, with a sister-group relationship to the Indian species Garra mullya. Our results suggest a single colonization of Sri Lanka by ancestral Garra, in the late Pliocene. This suggests that the Palk Isthmus, which was exposed for most of the Pleistocene, had a hydroclimate unsuited to the dispersal of fishes such as Garra. G. ceylonensis exhibits strong phylogeographic structure: six subclades are distributed as genetically distinct populations in clusters of contiguous river basins, albeit with two exceptions. Our data reveal one or more Pleistocene extirpation events, evidently driven by aridification, with relict populations subsequently re-colonizing the island. The phylogeographic structure of G. ceylonensis suggests inter-basin dispersal largely through headwater capture, likely facilitated by free-swimming post-larvae. The Peninsular-Indian species G. mullya comprises two genetically distinct parapatric clades, which may represent distinct species.

Keywords: biogeography, dispersal, freshwater fish, Labeoninae, phylogeny, Pleistocene, torrent fish

Garra ceylonensis Bleeker, 1863

Hiranya Sudasinghe, Neelesh Dahanukar, Rajeev Raghavan, Tharani Senavirathna, Dipeshwari J Shewale, Mandar S Paingankar, Anjalie Amarasinghe, Rohan Pethiyagoda, Lukas Rüber and Madhava Meegaskumbura. 2021. Island Colonization by A ‘Rheophilic’ Fish: the Phylogeography of Garra ceylonensis (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) in Sri Lanka. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. blaa221. DOI: 10.1093/biolinnean/blaa221