We present molecular data
investigating the phylogenetic relationships of species of four genera of
benthic octopuses: Graneledone, Tetracheledone, Vosseledone
and Praealtus. Using five mitochondrial
genes and one nuclear gene, we show that Tetracheledone and Praealtus
are junior synonyms of Graneledone.
A short region of the mitochondrial 12S gene was sequenced from Vosseledone
and, based on the limited available sequence data, it seems that this genus is
also a junior synonym of Graneledone.
Additionally we present DNA barcode data from a 654 base pair region
of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI) from nearly 100 individuals
of Graneledone, Thaumeledone, Megaleledone and Velodona. These reveal undescribed species of Thaumeledone. Additionally a statistical parsimony analysis
places Graneledone verrucosa, G. pacifica, G. boreopacifica
and Praealtus paralbida as well as specimens of Graneledone from
the Falkland Islands and South Georgia (previously identified as Graneledone
sp.) in a single haplotype network, suggesting more detailed investigations of
relationships among these putative species are required. Our data confirm the circumantarctic
distribution of Megaleledone setebos.