Population genetics of the burrowing mayfly Dolania americana: geographic variation and the presence of a cryptic species

350 210 Stroud Water Research Center

Sweeney. B.W., and D.H. Funk. 1987. Aquatic Insects 13:1–11.



The genetic structure of Dolania populations in South Carolina, Alabama, and Florida was examined using starch gel electrophoresis. All study populations except Alabama consisted entirely of D. americanaEdmunds and Traver. Electrophoresis revealed that the Alabama site contained both D. americana and an undescribed species (D. sp. nov.), with the latter taxon predominating. Individuals of the two taxa had nearly fixed allelic differences at two loci (Est 4 and Gda). The extent of genetic differentiation between populations of the two taxa in the same river or between adjacent river systems was significantly greater than between D. americana populations separated by large geographic distances. Populations of both species were characterized by relatively normal levels of polymorphic loci (average = 23%) but unusually low levels of heterozygosity (average = 0.03). Genetic variation between the Florida and South Carolina populations of D. americana was statistically significant. There was also some indication of slight genetic differentiation among populations of D. americana within the Blackwater River in Florida. No significant genetic variation was observed between cohorts of D. americana at a given site.