Cyphoma gibbosum is a common Caribbean species that is easily recognized by its colour pattern and morphology. To exclude possible sibling species occurring on, for example, different hosts or at other localities at Curaçao, several individuals from different Octocorallia species and from different localities along the coast were sequenced. Based on the molecular data no sibling species occurrence was detected. In Fig. 3 the results of the combined dataset subjected to a maximum likelihood analysis (ML) with bootstrap values is presented.
Fig. 3. Maximum likelihood analysis for combined Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Ovulidae based on 16s and CO-I data. The values above the branches represent bootstrap values (100 replicates).
The phylogeny reconstruction indicates that there is a separation between the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific clade (moderately supported, bootstrap value 70), although the East-Pacific species Neosimnia arcuata clusters with the Atlantic clade (poorly supported, bootstrap value 51). Simnialena uniplicata (Fig. 2f-g), Neosimnia arcuata and Cymbovula acicularis (Fig. 2a-d) are characterized conchologically by long and slender shells, but in the cladogram S. uniplicata does not appear as sister species to either N. arcuata or C. acicularis. Instead, it forms a highly supported (bootstrap value 100) clade with the Cyphoma group. The individual sequence of the ovulid specimen resembling Cymbovula bahamaensis (Fig. 2c) forms a highly supported clade (bootstrap value 100) with the included C. acicularis species.