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Article
Published: 2019-01-17

Diversity and taxonomy of the genus Unio Philipsson in Italy, with the designation of a neotype for Unio elongatulus C. Pfeiffer (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Unionidae)

Department STEBICEF, University of Palermo, Via Archirafi 18, I-90123 Palermo, Italy.
Via Boschette 8/A, I-25064 Gussago (BS), Italy.
Natural History Museum “La Specola”, Zoology section, University of Florence, Via Romana 17, I-50125 Florence, Italy.
Centre for Cartography of Fauna and Flora, Klunova 3, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Via Fratelli Tantillo 26, I-90145 Palermo, Italy.
Department STEBICEF, University of Palermo, Via Archirafi 18, I-90123 Palermo, Italy.
Natural History Museum “La Specola”, Zoology section, University of Florence, Via Romana 17, I-50125 Florence, Italy.
Mollusca Unionida Unio mancus turtonii Unio mancus requienii cryptic taxa

Abstract

Novel Unio spp. populations from Slovenia, the Italian peninsula, Sardinia and Sicily were genetically analysed in order to define the distribution and diversity of the genus Unio in Italy and neighbouring areas. The presence of two primarily allopatric autochtonous species, Unio elongatulus Pfeiffer, and Unio mancus Lamarck, is confirmed for the Italian peninsula, Corsica, Sardinia, and Sicily.

Autochthonous populations of Unio elongatulus are present in the peri-Adriatic drainages of the Italian and Balkan peninsulas, south as far as the Ofanto River (Apulia, Italy) and Lake Skadar (Albania), while its presence in the Tyrrhenian rivers of Tuscany is likely due to anthropogenic introduction events. Conversely, Unio mancus turtonii Payraudeau, an endangered peri-Tyrrhenian taxon, was found with autochthonous populations in the Apennine-Tyrrhenian drainages of peninsular Italy, eastern Mediterranean France, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily, while the actual autochthony of the single population found in the Ionian basin of the Italian peninsula (Bradano River, Basilicata) deserves further investigation. The Italian population of U. mancus requienii Michaud, reported from Lake Montepulciano is to be considered allochthonous.

The binomen U. elongatulus, although widely used in the recent scientific literature, was, to date, assigned to a doubtful species, because its type locality includes a large area inhabited by different Unio taxa, which are not clearly distinguishable by their shell alone; furthermore, no type material is present in historical collections. To retain the recently-used name, a new restricted type locality is established, where only U. elongatulus lives, and a neotype is designated. The validity of the subspecies of Unio mancus is also discussed and confirmed.

Finally, hypotheses on the origin of Italian mussels, and considerations on their conservation status are discussed.

 

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How to Cite

MARRONE, F., NARDI, G., CIANFANELLI, S., GOVEDIČ, M., BARRA, S. A., ARCULEO, M., & BODON, M. (2019). Diversity and taxonomy of the genus <em>Unio</em> <em>Philipsson</em> in Italy, with the designation of a neotype for <em>Unio elongatulus</em> C. Pfeiffer (Mollusca, Bivalvia, Unionidae). Zootaxa, 4545(3), 339–374. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4545.3.2