The Mediterranean bioregion is widely recognised as a biodiversity hotspot and its inland waters are among the species richest ecosystems of the northern hemisphere. However, the extent of such biodiversity has not been totally unravelled, especially in the Mediterranean islands. Here we present a first account of the crustaceans inhabiting 21 permanent and temporary ponds in Crete, the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. The ponds, sampled between 2009 and 2018, cover all the island surface even though their number cannot be considered exhaustive to represent the entire non-malacostracan fauna of the island. Nevertheless, 46 taxa were identified and most of them are new records for Crete. Moreover, molecular taxonomy allowed to solve the systematic position of Arctodiaptomus piliger Brehm, 1955 and to synonymize this organism, previously considered endemic of the island, with Arctodiaptomus alpinus (Imhof, 1885). As regard branchiopods, this paper contributes a step ahead to clarify the taxonomic position of the Mediterranean Chirocephalus and Ceriodaphnia species. Finally, a review of all the non-stygobitic species present on the island is reported, including 78 taxa (21 Branchiopoda, 28 Copepoda and 29 Ostracoda). Overall, the achieved results offer new clues to solve the complex biogeographical pattern of the “entomostracan” crustaceans inhabiting the inland waters of the Mediterranean region.
|Numero di pagine||21|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2019|
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