Côrte-Real, H.B.S.M., Hawkins, S.J. and Thorpe, J.P.
Population differentiation and taxonomic status of the exploited limpet Patella candei in the Macaronesian islands (Azores, Madeira, Canaries)
Marine Biology, 125, (1), . (doi:10.1007/BF00350768).
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There has been considerable confusion in the taxonomy of limpets of the North East Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, particularly those from the Macaronesian islands. The present study compared populations of the intertidal limpet Patella candei d'Orbigny from the Azores, Madeira and the Canaries with those of P. caerulea Linnaeus and P. depressa Pennant from the European and African continental coasts. No major differences in radular morphology were detected between the three species. However, electrophoretic analysis of 15 enzyme loci gave overall genetic identity (I) values of sim0.5 between the three species, indicating that they cannot be regarded as conspecific as previously thought, and suggesting that P. candei is endemic to the Macaronesian islands. Comparisons of P. candei within these islands showed that, although populations did not differ with respect to radular morphology and soft-body parts, populations from the Azores were distinct from those in Madeira and the Canaries in shell shape and gene frequencies. Individuals from the Azores had, no average, taller shells and longer radulae, while those in Madeira and the Canaries had a shallow, depressed and stellate shell form. This was interpreted as being due to the wider habitat distribution of the species in the Azores compared to Madeira and the Canaries. Electrophoretic results showed that P. candei from the Azores differed from P. candei in Madeira and the Canaries by almost 40% of the loci investigated (I=0.660), suggesting that the former is a separate endemic species. An I value of 0.969 between populations in Madeira and the Canaries was typical of conspecific populations.
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