Herein we report the first genetic comparison among species in the genus Eulimnadia. Multilocus genotypic patterns (using six allozyme loci) were compared for a total of 2277 clam shrimp from nine populations from Arizona and New Mexico. Seven of these populations were morphologically typed as Eulimnadia texana Packard and two were typed as Eulimnadia diversa Mattox. All populations were hermaphrodite-biased, and highly inbred (inbreeding coefficients ranging from 0.33 – 0.98). Genetic distances showed the two species to be within the range described for other arthropods. One of the two E. diversa populations appeared to be a hybrid between E. texana and E. diversa, showing electrophoretic patterns similar to both species, although morphologically, they were typed as E. diversa. A phenogram (generated using coancestry distances and a neighbor joining algorithm) placed this hybrid population half-way between these two species, and a breakdown of individuals within this hybrid population (based on allozyme scores) indicated individuals very similar to the second E. diversa population, and two groups of apparent hybrid individuals. Therefore, the distinction between these two species is called into question due to the their apparent hybridization in this area of Arizona.
Genetic population structuring was noted among the seven E. texana pools. Estimated migration rates were less than one migrant per generation. Even in the geographically close pools in New Mexico, which were separated by only hundreds of meters, significant sub-structuring was noted, and estimates of migration rate were less than two migrants per generation.