Deep-sea octopuses of the genus Muusoctopus are thought to have originated in the Pacific Northern Hemisphere and then diversified throughout the Pacific and into the rest of the World Ocean. However, this hypothesis was inferred only from molecular divergence times. Here, the ancestral distribution and dispersal routes are estimated by Bayesian analysis based on a new phylogeny including 38 specimens from the south-eastern Pacific Ocean. Morphological data and molecular sequences of three mitochondrial genes (16S rRNA, COI and COIII) are presented. The morphological data confirm that specimens newly acquired from off the coast of Chile comprise two species: Muusoctopus longibrachus and the poorly described species, Muusoctopus eicomar. The latter is here redescribed and is clearly distinguished from M. longibrachus and other closely related species in the region. A gene tree was built using Bayesian analysis to infer the phylogenetic position of these species within the species group, revealing that a large genetic distance separates the two sympatric Chilean species. M. longibrachus is confirmed as the sister species of Muusooctopus eureka from the Falkland Islands; while M. eicomar is a sister species of Muusoctopus yaquinae from the North Pacific, most closely related to the amphi-Atlantic species Muusoctopus januarii. Molecular divergence times and ancestral distribution analyses suggest that genus Muusoctopus may have originated in the North Atlantic: one lineage dispersed directly southward to the Magellan region and another dispersed southward along the Eastern Pacific to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. The Muusoctopus species in the Southern Hemisphere have different phylogenetic origins and represent independent invasions of this region.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Molecular Biology