Stomion is a swarm of 13 tenebrionid beetle taxa endemic to the Galapagos Islands. The taxa show marked morphological variation, and all are flightless. They can be divided into three divergent morphological groups based on external sculpturing of the elytra. Eleven taxa were examined electrophoretically at 20 enzyme loci to measure the extent of genetic differentiation which accompanied morphological differentiation and speciation. Stomion are shown to be ideal candidates for allopatric and founder event speciation, with their limited dispersal ability, narrow distributions, and incidence of single-island endemics. Accordingly, individual heterozygosities were low in most taxa, and gene pool divergence was apparent among populations of single taxa occupying different islands. Both interspecific and intraspecific genetic identities were high, with an average I = 0.88 and I = 0.96, respectively. The relatively young age of the genus and the allopatric mode of speciation may account for high genetic relatedness. No clear relationship was found between allozyme phenotypes and the three morphological groups, thus, the evolution of these traits may have been facilitated by similar selection among islands of similar age and geography. The geographical distributions of the morphological groups can be used to suggest a general pattern of speciation for the group.

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Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Department of Biology

Finston, T.L. (Terrie L.), & Peck, S. (1997). Genetic differentiation and speciation in Stomion (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae): Flightless beetles of the Galapagos Islands, ecuador. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 61(2), 183–200. doi:10.1006/bijl.1996.0127