Phylogenetic relationships among hadal amphipods of the Superfamily Lysianassoidea: Implications for taxonomy and biogeography

Heather Ritchie*, A. J. Jamieson, S. B. Piertney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Amphipods of the superfamily Lysianassoidea are ubiquitous at hadal depths (>6000 m) and therefore are an ideal model group for investigating levels of endemism and the drivers of speciation in deep ocean trenches. The taxonomic classification of hadal amphipods is typically based on conventional morphological traits but it has been suggested that convergent evolution, phenotypic plasticity, intra-specific variability and ontogenetic variation may obscure the ability to robustly diagnose taxa and define species. Here we use phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence variation at two mitochondrial (COI and 16S rDNA) and one nuclear (18S rDNA) regions at to examine the evolutionary relationships among 25 putative amphipod species representing 14 genera and 11 families that were sampled from across seven hadal trenches. We identify several instances where species, genera and families do not resolve monophyletic clades, highlighting incongruence between the current taxonomic classification and the molecular phylogeny for this group. Our data also help extend and resolve the known biogeographic distributions for the different species, such as identifying the co-occurrence of Hirondellea dubia and Hirondellea gigas in the Mariana trench.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
JournalDeep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers
Early online date2 Sep 2015
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015



  • Amphipoda
  • Deep sea
  • Hadal zone
  • Lysianassoidea
  • Phylogeny

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Oceanography

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