Across mountains and ocean: species delimitation and historical connectivity in Holarctic and Arctic-Alpine wolf spiders (Lycosidae, Pardosa)

Vladislav Ivanov*, Gergin Blagoev, Samuel Danflous, Peter Gajdoš, Toke Thomas Høye, Kyung Min Lee, Yuri Marusik, Cecilie Lohse Mielec, Christoph Muster, Julien Pétillon, Jörg Spelda, Marko Mutanen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Holarctic species offer great opportunities to study biogeography, phylogenetics, taxonomy, and local adaptation. Species that are considered conspecific between the Palearctic and the Nearctic realms are often split into 2 or more species when denser sampling and molecular markers are applied. Similar in complexity but at a finer geographical scale are species groups having Arctic-Alpine distributions where lineages have complicated demographic histories due to glacial dynamics. In both cases, allopatric speciation might not result in fast differentiation of morphological characters if environmental conditions in isolated areas are similar and the main driver of variability is genetic drift. Here, we study the Holarctic Pardosa hyperborea (Thorell, 1872) and its closest European relatives to assess their taxonomic status and patterns of genetic variability. Based on DNA barcodes and genomic data from double-digest restriction site associated sequencing, we propose that the North American populations should be regarded as a distinct species (P. luteola Emerton,1894, stat. resurr.), possibly consisting of several independent lineages. With the help of D-statistics, population genetic simulations and phylogenetic networks analysis, we demonstrate historical introgression among European species of the group and a likely explanation for shared DNA barcodes among allopatric and fully differentiated species. Our study exposes a promising model for studying speciation processes and demographic history in parallel on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and demonstrates the usefulness of genomic tools in elucidating the taxonomy and biogeography of taxa across broad geographic scales.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1
JournalInsect Systematics and Diversity
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023


  • ddRAD sequencing
  • DNA barcoding
  • glaciation
  • introgression
  • Lycosidae


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