||Closely related species with divergent life history traits are excellent models to infer the role of such traits in genetic diversity and connectivity. Ophioderma longicauda is a brittle star species complex composed of different genetic clusters, including brooders and broadcasters. These species diverged very recently and some of them are sympatric and ecologically syntopic, making them particularly suitable to study the consequences of their trait differences. At the scale of the geographic distribution of the broadcasters (Mediterranean Sea and northeastern Atlantic), we sequenced the mitochondrial marker COI and genotyped an intron (i51) for 788 individuals. In addition, we sequenced 10 nuclear loci newly developed from transcriptome sequences, for six sympatric populations of brooders and broadcasters from Greece. At the large scale, we found a high genetic structure within the brooders (COI: 0.07 < FST < 0.65) and no polymorphism at the nuclear locus i51. In contrast, the broadcasters displayed lower genetic structure (0 < FST < 0.14) and were polymorphic at locus i51. At the regional scale, the multilocus analysis confirmed the contrasting genetic structure between species, with no structure in the broadcasters (global FST < 0.001) and strong structure in the brooders (global FST = 0.49), and revealed a higher genetic diversity in broadcasters. Our study showed that the lecithotrophic larval stage allows on average a 50-fold increase in migration rates, a 280-fold increase in effective size and a threefold to fourfold increase in genetic diversity. Our work, investigating complementary genetic markers on sympatric and syntopic taxa, highlights the strong impact of the larval phase on connectivity and genetic diversity.