Microallopatric speciation in a relict dung beetle genus Grebennikovius (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) on Uluguru Mountains

Giulio Montanaro, Vasily Grebennikov, Michele Rossini, Sergei Tarasov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientific


The Eastern Arc Mountains in Tanzania and Kenya are a well known biodiversity
hotspot, presenting a very high rate of endemism. The monotypic, relict dung beetle
genus Grebennikovius (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) has been recorded so far only from the
forest of Uluguru Mounts, but recent sampling efforts have led to its recollection in
several localities in the Ulugurus. We investigated the relationships between different
Grebennikovius populations using morphological and molecular (GMYC, bPTP, ABGD)
species delimitation approaches. Morphospecies identified based on external and genital
morphology are consistent with clades identified by molecular methods. Phylogenetic
relatedness and genetic distance between morphospecies are correlated with geographic
distances, supporting an isolation-by-distance speciation scenario in the ca. 50km long
Uluguru mountain block. The presence of a monophyletic group of dung beetles species
occurring in such a restricted forest patch likely represents an emblematic case of allo- or
parapatric speciation on a very small scale, and rises questions about what geographic
and evolutionary phenomena could have driven arthropod speciation on the Uluguru
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication--
Publication statusIn preparation - 2023
MoE publication typeB3 Article in conference proceedings
EventWilli Hennig Society Meeting XXXIX - Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 24 Jul 202228 Jul 2022

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