We sequenced the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of 141 lowland tapirs (Tapirus terrestris) - representing the largest geographical distribution sample of this species studied across of South America to date. We compare our new data regard to two previous works on population structure and molecular systematics of T. terrestris. Our data agree with the Thoisy et al.'s work in (1) the Northern Western Amazon basin was the area with the highest gene diversity levels in T. terrestris, being probably the area of initial diversification; (2) there was no clear association between haplogroups and specific geographical areas; (3) there were clear population decreases during the last glacial maximum for the different haplogroups detected, followed by population expansions during the Holocene; and (4) our temporal splits among different T. terrestris haplogroups coincided with the first molecular clock approach carried out by these authors (fossil calibration). Nevertheless, our study disagreed regard to other aspects of the Thoisy et al.'s claims: (1) meanwhile, they detected four relevant clades in their data, we put forward six different relevant clades; (2) the Amazon River was not a strong barrier for haplotype dispersion in T. terrestris; and (3) we found reciprocal monophyly between T. terrestris and T. pinchaque. Additionally, we sequenced 42 individuals (T. terrestris, T. pinchaque, T. bairdii, and the alleged "new species", T. kabomani) for three concatenated mitochondrial genes (Cyt-b, COI, and COII) agreeing quite well with the view of Voss et al., and against of the claims of Cozzuol et al. Tapirus kabomani should be not considered as a full species with the results obtained throughout the mitochondrial sequences.
Keywords: Mitochondrial haplogroups; T. kabomani; Tapirus terrestris; phylogeography; pleistocene diversification; population expansions; spatial autocorrelation.