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Colour polymorphism in the polychaete Harmothoe imbricata (Linnaeus, 1767)

Journal article
Authors Arne Nygren
Erika Norlinder
Marina Panova
Fredrik Pleijel
Published in Marine Biology Research
Volume 7
Issue 1
Pages 54-62
ISSN 1745-1000
Publication year 2011
Published at Department of Marine Ecology, Tjärnö Marine Biological Laboratory
Linnaeus Centre for Marine Evolutionary Biology (CEMEB)
Department of Zoology
Department of Marine Ecology
Pages 54-62
Language en
Subject categories Marine ecology


We investigated whether the different colour morphs in Harmothoe imbricata constitute a single polymorphic species or if there are several species present. We sequenced the mitochondrial COI and the nuclear ITS1–5.8SrDNA–ITS2 region from 57 specimens representing 10 distinct colour morphs collected from Svalbard to the Swedish west coast. The resulting minimum spanning haplotype network based on mitochondrial COI unequivocally shows H. imbricata to be a single and colour polymorphic species, whereas variation in the ITS region was very limited.

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