Species of Farfantepenaeus support economically important shrimp fisheries throughout the Western Hemisphere, necessitating proper fisheries management. To be effective, species management should be informed of the potential presence of cryptic species and of the evolutionary forces driving biodiversity. This is best accomplished through a robust phylogenetic framework and evidence-based species delimitation. This study represents the first comprehensive molecular phylogeny and species delimitation analyses of shrimps belonging to the genus Farfantepenaeus. Targeting three mitochondrial genes (12S, 16S, and COI), gene trees and a phylogeny for the genus were inferred using maximum likelihood and Bayesian approaches. In general, the phylogenetic relationships inferred here largely agree with those recovered from morphological data, including the most recent designation of F. isabelae as sister to F. subtilis. Molecular divergence was found between northern and southern populations of F. brasiliensis, suggesting the existence of unrecognised subspecies. However, previous recognition of F. duorarum and F. notialis as two distinct species was not supported by this study. The phylogeny inferred here also uncovers a phylogeographic signal of latitudinal speciation in the genus. The study presented here provides valuable insight into the evolutionary history of Farfantepenaeus, improving our ability to effectively manage these economically important species.
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Vol. 33 • No. 2