New Zealand's isolation, its well-studied rapidly changing landscape, and its many examples of rampant speciation make it an excellent location for studying the process of genetic differentiation. Using 1520 base pairs of mitochondrial DNA from the cytochrome oxidase subunit I, ATPase subunits 6 and 8 and tRNAAsp genes, we detected two well-differentiated, parapatrically distributed clades within the widespread New Zealand cicada species Maoricicada campbelli that may prove to represent two species. The situation that we uncovered is unusual in that an ancient lineage with low genetic diversity is surrounded on three sides by two recently diverged lineages. Using a relaxed molecular clock model coupled with Bayesian statistics, we dated the earliest divergence within M. campbelli at 2.3 ± 0.55 million years. Our data suggest that geological and climatological events of the late Pliocene divided a once-widespread species into northern and southern components and that near the middle of the Pleistocene the northern lineage began moving south eventually reaching the southern clade. The southern clade seems to have moved northward to only a limited extent. We discovered five potential zones of secondary contact through mountain passes that will be examined in future work. We predict that, as in North American periodical cicadas, contact between these highly differentiated lineages will exist but will not involve gene flow.
Corresponding Editor: D. Waller