Specimens of peripatopsid Onychophora from New Zealand (the viviparousPeripatoides novaezealandiaeandP. suteriand the oviparousOoperipatellus insignis) have been analysed by allozyme electrophoresis and compared with three species of viviparous peripatus andO. insignisfrom Australia. The data indicate that at least two species ofPeripatoidesare present, in addition to those described. Populations collected from Dunedin, in the South Island, are not referable on morphological grounds to any described genus. Furthermore, specimens exhibit such a high level of genetic distinctiveness that we speculate they have diverged from thePeripatoidesandEuperipatoideslineages prior to the separation of Australia and New Zealand some 95 Myr ago. Specimens referable toO. insignisfrom New Zealand are genetically quite distinct fromO. insignisat its type locality in Australia and must be considered endemic.
|Number of pages
|Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
|Published - 1 May 1995
- population differentiation