Das Zoologische Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig

ist ein Forschungsmuseum der Leibniz Gemeinschaft

Hybridization patterns in contact zones reveal a new Central European snake species

AutorInnen: 
Kindler, C., Chèvre, M., Ursenbacher, S., Böhme, W., Hille, A., Jablonski, D., Vamberger, M., Fritz, U.
Erscheinungsjahr: 
2017
Vollständiger Titel: 
Hybridization patterns in two contact zones of grass snakes reveal a new Central European snake species
ZFMK-Autorinnen / ZFMK-Autoren: 
Org. Einordnung: 
Publiziert in: 
Scientific Reports
Publikationstyp: 
Zeitschriftenaufsatz
DOI Name: 
10.1038/s41598-017-07847-9
Keywords: 
Hybridization, grass snake, Natrix natrix helvetica, mtDNA clades
Bibliographische Angaben: 
Kindler, C., Chèvre, M., Ursenbacher, S., Böhme, W., Hille, A., Jablonski, D., Vamberger, M., Fritz, U. (2017): Hybridization patterns in two contact zones of grass snakes reveal a new Central European snake species. – Scientific reports 7, 7378; DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-07847-9.
Abstract: 

Recent studies found major conflicts between traditional taxonomy and genetic differentiation of grass snakes and identified previously unknown secondary contact zones. Until now, little is known about gene flow across these contact zones. Using two mitochondrial markers and 13 microsatellite loci, we examined two contact zones. One, largely corresponding to the Rhine region, involves the western subspecies Natrix natrix helvetica and the eastern subspecies N. n. natrix, whereas in the other, more easterly, contact zone two lineages meet that are currently identified with N. n. natrix and N. n. persa. This second contact zone runs across Central Europe to the southern Balkans. Our analyses reveal that the western contact zone is narrow, with parapatrically distributed mitochondrial lineages and limited, largely unidirectional nuclear gene flow. In contrast, the eastern contact zone is very wide, with massive nuclear admixture and broadly overlapping mitochondrial lineages. In combination with additional lines of evidence (morphology, phylogeny, divergence times), we conclude that these differences reflect different stages in the speciation process and that Natrix helvetica should be regarded as a distinct species. We suggest a nomenclatural framework for presently recognized grass snake taxa and highlight the need for reconciling the conflicts between genetics and taxonomy.

Ansprechpartnerin / Ansprechpartner

Vizepräsident der Alexander-Koenig-Gesellschaft
ehem. Stellv. Direktor
ehem. Abteilungsleiter Wirbeltiere & Kurator Herpetologie
+49 228 9122-250
+49 228 9122-212
w.boehme [at] leibniz-zfmk.de