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Castilla J. C., A. G. Collins, C. P. Meyer, R. Guiņez, and D. R. Lindberg. 2002. Recent Introduction of the dominant tunicate, Pyura praeputialis (Urochordata, Pyuridae) to Antofagasta, Chile. Molecular Ecology 11:1579-1584.
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ABSTRACT: The large sessile tunicate Pyura stolonifera (Pleurogona: Stolibranchiata: Pyuridae), has been regarded as a complex taxon with disjointed distributions, including Australia (Pyura stolonifera praeputialis), South Africa (Pyura stolonifera stolonifera) and South America (Chile, Antofagasta: Pyura sp, the "piure de Antofagasta"), which it has been cited at least under five taxonomic combinations. The "piure de Antofagasta" is a competitively dominant species in rocky intertidal habitats and shows a limited geographical range (60-70 km) exclusively inside the Bay of Antofagasta. Using Cytochrome Oxidase I (COI) mitochondrial sequence data from Pyura specimens of the three taxa we test if the Chilean taxon represents (a) a Gondwana relict, (b) a more recently divergent species, (c) a recently introduced species. The results suggest that the Chilean taxon is a recent introduction to Chile from Australian populations and that Pyura stolonifera praeputialis, from Australia, and the "piure de Antofagasta" are geographical populations of a single species: Pyura praeputialis; while the South African taxon represents a second species: Pyura stolonifera.
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