Publication Date


Publication Title

Monographs of the Western North American Naturalist




Western North American Naturalist


California’s 8 Channel Islands host a large diversity of insects, the vast majority of which are shared with mainland southern California. The existence of a small number of recognized endemic species, however, suggest that, for some lineages, the islands are isolated enough to have permitted significant differentiation. Here we investigate the phylogeographic relationships of 4 beetle species (Thinopinus pictus, Hadrotes crassus, Hypocaccus lucidulus, and Nyctoporis carinata): all occurring on the mainland and on multiple (up to 6) Channel Islands. Sequences of the cytochrome oxidase I mitochondrial gene (and, for one species, an intron in the nuclear guftagu gene) are analyzed by Bayesian, haplotype network, and population genetic methods to examine relationships and gene flow among island and mainland populations. In no instances were all island populations resolved to be monophyletic, and northern (Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel) and southern (San Nicolas, San Clemente, Santa Catalina) island groups generally showed separate relationships to the mainland. Northern island populations of Hy. lucidulus were also found to be closely related to those on the southern island of San Nicolas. Populations on San Clemente and Santa Catalina islands did not show close relationships to each other or to San Nicolas Island populations in any species. San Clemente and especially San Nicolas islands hosted disproportionately high levels of diversity in all species examined. This study suggests that the Channel Islands do not function as a biogeographical unit and that several of the islands exhibit levels of diversity comparable to, or even exceeding, similarly sampled populations on the mainland. Thus, as an insular refuge from southern Californian development, the Channel Islands constitute a center of high conservation importance.


Proceedings of the 8th California Channel Islands Symposium.

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

The published version can be found here:

Included in

Entomology Commons