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A new cyclopoid copepod from Korean subterranean waters reveals an interesting connection with the Central Asian fauna (Crustacea: Copepoda: Cyclopoida)

  • Received : 2012.05.29
  • Accepted : 2012.08.24
  • Published : 2012.08.30

Abstract

Monchenkocyclops gen. nov. was erected to accommodate M. changi sp. nov. from South Korea (type species), M. mirabdullayevi sp. nov. from Kazakhstan, M. biarticulatus (Monchenko, 1972) comb. nov. from Uzbekistan, and M. biwensis (Ishida, 2005) comb. nov. from Japan. The latter species was originally described from surface-water habitats of the ancient Lake Biwa in the genus Diacyclops Kiefer, 1927, while two Central Asian species were previously collected from groundwater habitats and assigned to the genus Acanthocyclops Kiefer, 1927. Monchenkocyclops changi is also found in subterranean waters, and described here in detail. It is morphologically most similar to its Uzbek congener (not to the Japanese one), which rises some interesting zoogeographical questions about the disjunct distribution of this genus. Range fragmentation is a more plausible explanation for this distribution pattern than range expansion, and we emphasize four lines of evidence that support this hypothesis. Four species of Monchenkocyclops share not only the same segmentation of the swimming legs, but also the exact same armature formula of all swimming legs, in addition to many other morphological characters, such as the caudal rami shape and armature, absence of exopod on the antenna, similar shape of the seminal receptacle, fifth leg, etc. They can be distinguished mostly by the relative length of different armature elements, such as the innermost terminal caudal setae, and inner setae and apical spines on the third endopodal segment of the fourth leg. A dichotomous key to species is provided.

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