Data from: New species in the Sitalcina sura species group (Opiliones, Laniatores, Phalangodidae), with evidence for a biogeographic link between California desert canyons and Arizona sky islands
DiDomenico, Angela; Hedin, Marshal (2017), Data from: New species in the Sitalcina sura species group (Opiliones, Laniatores, Phalangodidae), with evidence for a biogeographic link between California desert canyons and Arizona sky islands, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4gk4f
The western United States is home to numerous narrowly endemic harvestman taxa (Arachnida, Opiliones), including members of the genus Sitalcina Banks, 1911. Sitalcina is comprised of three species groups, including the monospecific S. californica and S. lobata groups, and the S. sura group with eight described species. All species in the S. sura group have very small geographic distributions, with group members distributed like disjunct “beads on a string” from Monterey south to southern California and southeast to the sky-island mountain ranges of southern Arizona. Here, molecular phylogenetic and species delimitation analyses were conducted for all described species in the S. sura group, plus several newly discovered populations. Species trees were reconstructed using multispecies coalescent methods implemented in *BEAST, and species delimitation was accomplished using Bayes Factor Delimitation (BFD). Based on quantitative species delimitation results supported by consideration of morphological characters, two new species (Sitalcina oasiensis sp. n., Sitalcina ubicki sp. n.) are described. We also provide a description of the previously unknown male of S. borregoensis Briggs, 1968. Molecular phylogenetic evidence strongly supports distinctive desert versus coastal clades, with desert canyon taxa from southern California more closely related to Arizona taxa than to geographically proximate California coastal taxa. We hypothesize that southern ancestry and plate tectonics have played a role in the diversification history of this animal lineage, similar to sclerophyllous plant taxa of the Madro-Tertiary Geoflora. Molecular clock analyses for the S. sura group are generally consistent with these hypotheses. We also propose that additional Sitalcina species await discovery in the desert canyons of southern California and northern Baja, and the mountains of northwestern mainland Mexico.
western United States