Taxonomic status and phylogeny of the San Bernardino springsnail populations into the genus Pyrgulopsis in Sonora and Arizona

Alejandro Varela-Romero, Terry L Myers, Jeff Sorensen, Francisco Abarca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The San Bernardino springsnail (Pyrgulopsis bernardina) inhabits springs in the upper San Bernardino River (SBR) basin in southeastern Arizona and northeastern Sonora. Loss of populations in Arizona associated with habitat degradation has resulted in concern for the continued persistence and viability of the species. Springsnails at the Arroyo San Bernardino (ASB) sub-basin in Sonora are considered P. bernardina but this has not been validated through genetic studies to receive legal protection. The species of Pyrgulopsis detected in the Arroyo Cajon Bonito (ACB) sub-basin in Sonora sites is not known. The goal of this study is to provide genetic information to resource managers to clarify the taxonomic relationships between populations of Pyrgulopsis in the upper SBR basin in Sonora with those historically found at the type locality in Arizona based on cytochrome oxidase 1 (COI) gene fragment. COI fragments from the two sub-basins samples in Sonora, confirms that Pyrgulopsis are conspecific with type locality samples from Arizona. Maximum parsimony and maximum likelihood analysis of all populations, agree with the current systematics of the species. Monophyly of all populations of P. bernardina was observed, and populations within each sub-basin form two monophyletic clades. Conservation planning should recognize the two sub-basins genetic divergence. Within the ASB clade, genetic relationships suggest historical connectivity with the type locality in Arizona.
Original languageSpanish (Mexico)
Pages (from-to)45-50
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2013

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