European marbled newts come in two species that have abutting ranges. The northern species, Triturus marmoratus, is found in France and the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula, whereas the southern species, T. pygmaeus, is found in the southwestern corner of the Iberian Peninsula. We study the intraspecific genetic differentiation of the group because morphological data show geographical variation and because the Iberian Peninsula is a recognized center of speciation and intraspecific genetic diversity for all kinds of organisms, amphibians included. We use target enrichment by sequence capture to generate c. 7 k nuclear DNA markers. We observe limited genetic exchange between the species, which confirms their distinctiveness. Both species show substantial genetic structuring that is only in part mirrored by morphological variation. Genetically differentiated groups are found in the south (T. marmoratus) and west (T. pygmaeus) of the species ranges. Our observations highlight the position of the Iberian Peninsula as a hotspot for genetic differentiation.

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Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution

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Staff publications

Kazilas, C., Dufresnes, Christophe, France, J., Kalaentzis, K., Martínez-Solano, Iñigo, Arntzen, J. W., … de Visser, M. (2024). Spatial genetic structure in European marbled newts revealed with target enrichment by sequence capture. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 194(108043). doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2024.108043