Sarah L. Boyer, Shannon R. Dohr, Madison S. Tuffield, Yoonjin Shu, Ciara D. Moore, Katherine M. Hahn, Rainah S. Ward, Phuong Nguyen, Rina Morisawa
Invertebrate Systematics 36 (4), 372-387, (16 May 2022) https://doi.org/10.1071/IS21044
KEYWORDS: Arachnida, biogeography, Cyphophthalmi, Endemism, New Zealand, Opiliones, systematics, taxonomy
New Zealand is home to 30 recognised endemic mite harvestman species and subspecies, 26 of which were described by Ray Forster in 1948 and 1952. These species comprise three genera: Rakaia Hirst, 1926, Neopurcellia Forster, 1948, and Aoraki Boyer & Giribet, 2007. Here, we focus on the diversity and distribution of Aoraki: we describe A. grandis Boyer, Tuffield & Dohr, sp. nov. and A. meridialis Boyer, Hahn & Ward, sp. nov. and we synonymise A. granulosa (Forster, 1952) with A. tumidata (Forster, 1948), bringing the total of named species and subspecies to twelve, and extending the southern range of the genus by over 100 km. Our phylogenetic analysis revealed three major lineages within the genus characterised by differing levels of granulation of the male fourth tarsus. We report striking variation in the range size and level of genetic structuring present within currently recognised species and subspecies of Aoraki, and propose future studies to address evolutionary, biogeographic and taxonomic questions in the group.