Cryptic patterns of speciation in cryptic primates: microendemic mouse lemurs and the multispecies coalescent
George P. Tiley,
Marina B. Blanco,
Jean B Andriambeloson,
C. Ryan Campbell,
Paul D Etter,
Kelsie E Hunnicutt,
Eric A Johnson,
Peter M. Kappeler,
Peter A Larsen,
José M Ralison,
Rodin M. Rasoloarison,
David W Rasolofoson,
Amanda R. Stahlke,
Rachel C. Williams,
Edward E. Louis,
Anne D Yoder
Posted 21 Aug 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/742361 (published DOI: 10.1093/sysbio/syaa053)
Posted 21 Aug 2019
Mouse lemurs (Microcebus) are a radiation of morphologically cryptic primates distributed throughout Madagascar for which the number of recognized species has exploded in the past two decades. This taxonomic explosion has prompted understandable concern that there has been substantial oversplitting in the mouse lemur clade. Here, we take an integrative approach to investigate species diversity in two pairs of sister lineages that occur in a region in northeastern Madagascar with high levels of microendemism and predicted habitat loss. We analyzed RADseq data with multispecies coalescent (MSC) species delimitation methods for three named species and an undescribed lineage previously identified to have divergent mtDNA. Marked differences in effective population sizes, levels of gene flow, patterns of isolation-by-distance, and species delimitation results were found among them. Whereas all tests support the recognition of the presently undescribed lineage as a separate species, the species-level distinction of two previously described species, M. mittermeieri and M. lehilahytsara is not supported; a result that is particularly striking when using the genealogical discordance index (gdi). Non-sister lineages occur sympatrically in two of the localities sampled for this study, despite an estimated divergence time of less than 1 Ma. This suggests rapid evolution of reproductive isolation in the focal lineages, and in the mouse lemur clade generally. The divergence time estimates reported here are based on the MSC and calibrated with pedigree-based mutation rates and are considerably more recent than previously published fossil-calibrated concatenated likelihood estimates, however. We discuss the possible explanations for this discrepancy, noting that there are theoretical justifications for preferring the MSC estimates in this case. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.
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