The Transverse Ranges in southern California have been identified as having a prominent phylogeographic role. Numerous studies have identified distinct north-south and/or east-west lineage breaks involving the Transverse Ranges. However, in evaluating their findings, most authors have regarded this complex system somewhat simplistically. In this study we more deeply investigate these breaks using two approaches: first we examine the phylogeographic history of Sepedophilus castaneus (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) and then implement a comparative phylogeography approach applying Brooks parsimony analysis to the topologies of nine additional taxa. Phylogenetic analysis, nested clade analysis, and AMOVAs for S. castaneus agree that there is a major lineage break between the eastern and western Transverse Ranges, localized between the Sierra Pelona and the San Gabriel Mountains. The comparative phylogeographic analysis supports a generally strong concordance of area relationships with geographic proximity. It is notable, however, that the Transverse Ranges as a group do not show phylogenetic cohesion, but rather they are split into three main regions: an eastern region (San Gabriel, San Bernardino, and San Jacinto Mountains), a central region (central Transverse Ranges and Sierra Pelona) that is often grouped with the Tehachapi and Sierra Nevada populations, and a western region (northwestern Transverse Ranges and Santa Ynez Mountains) that is consistently grouped with coast range areas to the north. The lineage break between east and west Transverse Ranges is attributable to the presence of a marine embayment in what is now the Santa Clara River valley 5–2.5 million years ago.
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Vol. 61 • No. 9