Mitochondrial genome divergence supports an ancient origin of circatidal behaviour in the Anurida maritima (Collembola: Neanuridae) species group

Timmermans, Martijn J. T. N. ORCID:, Arbea, J. I., Campbell, G., King, M. C., Prins, A. and Kett, Stephen ORCID: (2021) Mitochondrial genome divergence supports an ancient origin of circatidal behaviour in the Anurida maritima (Collembola: Neanuridae) species group. Organisms Diversity & Evolution . ISSN 1439-6092 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1007/s13127-021-00503-1)

[img] PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Restricted to Repository staff and depositor only until 22 September 2022.

Download (8MB) |


Animals of the intertidal zone tolerate substantial environmental fuctuations. Survival under such unstable conditions requires specifc adaptations. Several intertidal species have evolved endogenous mechanisms that follow tidal rhythms permitting behavioural alignment with periodic inundation. For example, aggregation behaviour in the springtail Anurida maritima (Guérin-Méneville, 1836) (Collembola: Neanuridae) is controlled by a free-running clock with a period of~12.4 h.

This cosmopolitan species is found in the upper intertidal zone where it forages during low tide. Before high tide, specimens aggregate in cracks in the substrate or under rocks to survive inundation. Here we report that the closely related intertidal species Anurida bisetosa Bagnall, 1949, displays a similar endogenously controlled circatidal behaviour. To obtain a minimum age estimate for this shared derived trait, we sequenced the full mitochondrial genome of A. bisetosa, which was then used for phylogenetic inference and molecular dating. The mitochondrial genomes of A. maritima and A. bisetosa are highly divergent. This divergence extends throughout the whole mitochondrial genome and is mirrored by a similar pattern in the nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region. Dating analyses suggest the species potentially split more than 40 million years ago. Under the assumption that the endogenously-controlled rhythmic behaviour evolved once in an ancestor of the two species, the trait must be of older age. Use of a single genetic marker and a limited number of fossil calibration points constrains accuracy of the age estimate, but nevertheless, it ofers a glimpse at otherwise ‘intangible’ palaeoecological and palaeoethological attributes.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 33874
Notes on copyright: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Organisms Diversity & Evolution. The final authenticated version is available online at:
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Martijn Timmermans
Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2021 09:59
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2021 11:20

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.