The Canary Islands have proven to be an interesting archipelago for the phylogeographic study of colonization and diversification with a number of recent studies reporting evolutionary patterns and processes across a diversity of floral and faunal groups. The Canary Islands differ from the Hawaiian and Galapagos Islands by their close proximity to a continental land mass, being 110 km from the northwestern coast of Africa. This close proximity to a continent obviously increases the potential for colonization, and it can be expected that at the level of the genus some groups will be the result of more than one colonization. In this study we investigate the phylogeography of a group of carabid beetles from the genus Calathus on the Canary Islands and Madeira, located 450 km to the north of the Canaries and 650 km from the continent. The Calathus are well represented on these islands with a total of 29 species, and on the continent there are many more. Mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I and II sequence data has been used to identify the phylogenetic relationships among the island species and a selection of continental species. Specific hypotheses of monophyly for the island fauna are tested with parametric bootstrap analysis. Data suggest that the Canary Islands have been colonized three times and Madeira twice. Four of these colonizations are of continental origin, but it is possible that one Madeiran clade may be monophyletic with a Canarian clade. The Calathus faunas of Tenerife and Madeira are recent in origin, similar to patterns previously reported for La Gomera, El Hierro, and Gran Canaria.
Editor: S. Karl