Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Morphology and DNA barcodes reveal the presence of the non-native land planarian Obama marmorata (Platyhelminthes: Geoplanidae) in Europe.

Abstract

We report for the first time the occurrence of Obama marmorata [sensu Lago-Barcia et al., 2015 = Obama nungara] in the Iberian Peninsula as an introduced species from the Neotropical Region. The species is also reported for the first time in Argentina. The identification was made on the basis of morphological evidence. The divergence levels of a fragment of the mitochondrial cytochromec oxidaseI gene from Argentinean and Iberian samples were studied. The morphology of samples from the two regions was the same and matched the original description of the species. A DNA barcoding matrix was constructed using new sequences from O. marmorata and sequences of related species taken from GenBank. Among the Geoplanidae, interspecific divergence ranged between 3.3 and 14.4%, while intraspecific divergence percentages were 0-1.2%, signalling the presence of a DNA barcoding gap. All O. marmorata sequences, irrespective of their geographic origin, form a well supported clade with an intraspecific divergence of 0-0.9 (average=0.4%). These results indicate the utility of DNA barcoding to discover allochthonous species in this group of organisms.