Table of Contents
Advances in Evolutionary Biology
Volume 2015, Article ID 490158, 21 pages
Research Article

A DNA Barcode-Based Evaluation of the Southeast Asian Catfish Genus Hemibagrus Bleeker, 1862 (Teleostei: Siluriformes; Bagridae)

1Département de Biologie, Université Laval, 1045 Avenue de la Médecine, Québec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
2Direction Générale de l’Expertise sur la Faune et ses Habitats-Secteur de la Faune, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, 880 chemin Ste-Foy, 2e étage, Québec, QC, Canada G1S 4X4

Received 25 July 2014; Revised 1 December 2014; Accepted 22 December 2014

Academic Editor: Bernd Schierwater

Copyright © 2015 Julian J. Dodson and Frédéric Lecomte. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Species of the genus Hemibagrus are large river catfishes found throughout South-east Asia. The complexity of the region’s biogeographical history and the lack of well-defined morphological characters render the taxonomy and phylogenetic reconstruction of Hemibagrus problematical. Early molecular studies of the H. nemurus species group revealed extensive genetic subdivisions, the taxonomic status of which remained unclear. A recent, morphologically-based, revision of the genus provides an opportunity to clarify the taxonomic status of these lineages. We employ a DNA barcode derived from the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene to expand our genetic analyses of the genus and to test the congruence of morphologically and genetically based taxonomies. Secondly, we evaluate phylogenetic relationships among taxa. Thirdly, we describe the phylogeography of Hemibagrus in South-east Asia. The species groups and nominal species proposed in the morphology-based revision generally reflect a hierarchy of monophyletic groups based on phenetic and maximum likelihood reconstructions of mtDNA phylogenies. The most notable exception involves the definition of a morphologically cryptic group from North Borneo. H. nemurus from West Java appears to be a regional population of H. capitulum. The phylogeography of the genus has been principally influenced by the formation of North Borneo and the emergence of the Sunda Islands.