The Alternative Distribution of Related Earthworms Aporrectodea caliginosa and A. trapezoides (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae) in Ukraine as a Case of Geographical Parthenogenesis

Keywords: geographic parthenogenesis, earthworms, Aporrectodea, amphimixis, apomixis


Geographical parthenogenesis describes phenomenon when parthenogenetic hybrid forms or species have larger distribution areas or higher abundance than their amphimictic parental species, especially in climatically unfavorable conditions. This phenomenon was studied in Ukraine for the pair species of earthworms A. сaliginosa auct. We found that the hermaphroditic amphimictic A. caliginosa clearly predominates in the northern and western regions, and the apomictic parthenogenetic A. trapezoides in the southern and eastern regions with a continental arid climate. In the sample sets of Aрorrectodea сaliginosa – A. trapezoides group, usually one of the species sharply predominated, and the equality of their abundance was very rare. The reason for this fact is both the alternative geographical distribution and the ability of A. trapezoides to form populations in habitats unfavorable for A. caliginosa. In general, the situation in this group agrees with the classical model of geographic parthenogenesis and confirms the high adaptive potential of apomictic organisms. This fact once again raises the question of non-adaptive reasons for the exclusion of the apomictic reproduction in highly organized animals.


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How to Cite
Mezhzherin, S., Chayka, Y., Vlasenko , R., Zhalay , E., Rostovskaya , O., & Harbar , O. (2021). The Alternative Distribution of Related Earthworms Aporrectodea caliginosa and A. trapezoides (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae) in Ukraine as a Case of Geographical Parthenogenesis. Zoodiversity, 55(3), 185–194.