Overlooked cryptic endemism in copepods: Systematics and natural history of the calanoid subgenus Occidodiaptomus Borutzky 1991 (Copepoda, Calanoida, Diaptomidae)

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Our comprehension of the phylogeny and diversity of most inland–water crustaceans is currently hampered by their pronounced morphological bradytely, which contributed to the affirmation of the ‘‘Cosmopolitanism Paradigm’’ of freshwater taxa. However, growing evidence of the existence of cryptic diversity and molecular regionalism is available for calanoid copepods, thus stressing the need for careful morphologicaland molecular studies in order to soundly investigate the systematics, diversity and distribution patterns of the group.Diaptomid copepods were here chosen as model taxa, and the morphological and molecular diversity of the species belonging to the west-Mediterranean diaptomid subgenus Occidodiaptomus were investigated with the aim of comparing the patterns of morphological and molecular evolution in freshwater copepods.Three species currently lumped under the binomen Hemidiaptomus (Occidodiaptomus) ingens and two highly divergent clades within H. (O.) roubaui were distinguished, thus showing an apparent discordance between the molecular distances recorded and Occidodiaptomus morphological homogeneity, and highlighting a noteworthy decoupling between the morphological and molecular diversity in the subgenus.Current Occidodiaptomus diversity pattern is ascribed to a combined effect of ancient vicariance and recent dispersal events. It is stressed that the lack of sound calibration points for the molecular clock makes it difficult to soundly temporally frame the diversification events of interest in the taxon studied, and thus to asses the role of morphological bradytely and of accelerated molecular evolutionary rates in shaping the current diversity of the group.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)190-202
Numero di pagine13
RivistaMolecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2013


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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