Molecular taxonomy in pholcis spiders: first promising data
(published in Zoologica Scripta, 2006; see PDF)
 
Left: one species or three species?  In many cases, the decision is difficult and largely arbitrary. Right: In morphologically unambiguous cases, conspecifics had significantly less variation (here 16S) among specimens than different species from the same genus.

The identification of species using molecular characters is a promising approach in alpha taxonomy and in any discipline depending on reliable assignment of specimens. In this study, we evaluate and calibrate molecular species (re-)identification within a closely related group of organisms by using specimens that are morphologically unambiguously either conspecific or not. Species limits hypothesized a priori based on morphology were almost universally reconstructed by both mitochondrial markers used (16S and CO1).