Speciation, phenotypic plasticity, or ontogeny, the case of the genus Galkinius (Pyrgomatidae, Cirripedia, Crustacea)

Noa Simon-Blecher, Andrew M. Hosie, Tamar Guy-Haim, Benny K.K. Chan, Yair Achituv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Barnacles of the genus Galkinius occupy a large spectrum of host corals, making it one of the least host-specific genera within the Pyrgomatidae. Molecular analyses show that within the genus Galkinius there are highly supported clades, suggesting that the genus Galkinius is a complex of evolutionarily significant units (ESUs). The morphology of the opercular valves has been used as the basis for the separation of species of Galkinius. In this study, morphological variability was found both between specimens within ESUs extracted from different host species and between specimens extracted from the same colony. Identifications based on the opercular valves cannot therefore be assigned to different species despite being genetically distinguishable. It is proposed that in many cases the differences between valve morphology of different species of Galkinius are the outcome of ontogeny. Allometric growth of the valves has resulted in differences in the proportions of the parts of the valve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-322
Number of pages18
JournalZoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Linnean Society of London.


  • Barnacle biodiversity
  • Coral inhabiting barnacles
  • ESU
  • Host specificity
  • Ontogeny of opercular plates


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