To study the phylogeography of the ground beetle Carabus yamato in Japan, we compared 1,020-bp sequences of the mitochondrial NADH dehydrogenase subunit 5 (ND5) gene from 373 specimens from 37 localities with those of three parapatric species (C. albrechti, C. kimurai, and C. japonicus) that might share mitochondrial lineages with C. yamato through introgressive hybridization. We found 81 haplotypes from C. yamato. Of these, 17 haplotypes were considered to be of an introgressed lineage from C. albrechti, based on the phylogeny and geographic distribution. In addition, one haplotype of C. kimurai was likely an introgressant from C. yamato. Putative introgression events among the four species were restricted to these two directional cases. We analyzed the phylogeography of C. yamato using nested clade phylogeographical analysis and population genetic parameters. The mitochondrial lineages of C. yamato were estimated to have diverged no more than approximately 1.12 million years ago, implying that the estimated historical events occurred after the Early Pleistocene. Carabus yamato was inferred to have experienced a contraction of its distribution range, followed by recent range expansion. Populations in the western and eastern regions, segregated by Ise Bay and the Nobi and Okazaki Plains, diverged in the mitochondrial clades. The northern and most western populations possessed one clade only (except an introgressed lineage), whereas eastern and some southwestern populations possessed several diverged clades, which were considered to be ancestral; these populations may have been associated with refugia during glacial periods.
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