Cophylogenetic patterns are uncorrelated between two lineages of parasites on the same hosts

Andrew D. Sweet, Bret M. Boyd, Kevin P. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Free-living organisms are often host to multiple lineages of closely related parasites. Different lineages of obligate parasites living on the same hosts might potentially be expected to display similar cophylogenetic patterns. However, there are also reasons why these lineages might have different evolutionary histories (e.g. host switching, host geography). In the present study, we use mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequence data to evaluate the cophylogenetic patterns between doves and their wing and body lice. Previous studies have found that the wing and body lice of doves have different levels of congruence between their phylogenetic histories. However, these studies are limited in scope, either taxonomically or geographically. We used both new and existing data to generate a worldwide and taxonomically diverse data set for doves and two independent groups of lice: wing and body lice. Using event and topology-based methods, we found that cophylogenetic patterns were not correlated between wing and body lice, even though both groups showed evidence of cospeciation with their hosts. These results indicate that external factors vary in their impact on different groups of parasites and also that broad sampling is critical for identifying patterns in cophylogenetic analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)813-828
Number of pages16
JournalBiological Journal of the Linnean Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • clade-limited host switching
  • cospeciation
  • host ecology
  • sampling bias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


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