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|Genetically separate populations of the ocean-skater Halobates sericeus (Heteroptera: Gerridae) have been maintained since the late Pleistocene|Leo, S.T.S.; Cheng, L.; Sperling, F.A.H. (2012). Genetically separate populations of the ocean-skater Halobates sericeus (Heteroptera: Gerridae) have been maintained since the late Pleistocene. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 105(4): 797-805
In: Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. Academic Press: London. ISSN 0024-4066, more
Divergence zones; Population structure; Halobates sericeus Eschscholtz, 1822 [WoRMS]; Pacific Ocean I.; Marine
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- Leo, S.T.S.
- Cheng, L., more
- Sperling, F.A.H.
The oceanic water strider (or ocean-skater) Halobates sericeus Eschscholtz has a disjunct distribution in the Pacific Ocean, with northern and southern populations widely separated by an equatorial zone. It is sensitive to sea surface conditions and, consequently, its distribution and population structure may provide an insight into environmental changes on the ocean surface on both recent and historical time scales. We assessed the genetic diversity and population structure of H. sericeus in the Pacific Ocean using three gene markers – cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI), elongation factor 1α and internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS-1). These markers indicate that both populations are evolutionarily distinct with limited gene flow, having separated 20 000–50 000 years ago. This suggests that physical conditions and/or biotic interactions on the surface of the Pacific Ocean have provided significant barriers to gene flow since the late Pleistocene or earlier, creating biotic stability over large geographical and temporal scales in spite of a long history of global climate change