Science News
from research organizations

New species of Brazilian copepod suggests ancient species diversification and distribution

Date:
March 20, 2017
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
A new species and genus of a tiny freshwater copepod has been found in the Brazilian rocky savannas, an ecosystem under heavy anthropogenic pressure. Prior to the discovery, only one genus of its subfamily had been recorded in the Neotropical region, which comes to show that related species had already spread across a huge range when the ancient supercontinent Gondwana split apart.
Share:
FULL STORY

Image of a male specimen of the new species Eirinicaris antonioi obtained via a scanning electron microscope (SEM).
Credit: Dr. Paulo H. C. Corgosinho

A new species of groundwater copepod has been discovered in the rocky savannas of Brazil -- an ecosystem suffering from heavy anthropogenic impact. Upon description, the tiny crustacean turned out to also represent a previously unknown genus. It is described by Dr. Paulo H. C. Corgosinho, Montes Claros State University, Brazil, and his team in the open access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution.

Prior to the discovery of the new species, named Eirinicaris antonioi, only one genus of its subfamily (Parastenocaridinae) had been recorded in the Neotropical region, which comes to show that related species had already spread across a huge range when the ancient supercontinent Gondwana split apart.

The new copepod measures about 0,300 mm and can be told apart by its morphological characteristics, including unusual sensorial structures at the rear part of the body, as well as unique sexual dimorphism.

The copepods of the family Parastenocarididae are adapted to life in groundwater, where they thrive between sand grains. These tiny creatures measure less than 1 mm, ranging between 0,200 and 0,400 mm in length. They can be found in various microbiotopes along rivers, lakes and human-made structures, such as dug or artesian wells. Alternatively, these copepods might be associated with mosses and other semi-terrestrial environments.

"This is the first species described from Goiás state, Central Brazil," explain the authors. "With the discovery of this new species our knowledge about the geographical distribution of the copepod family Parastenocarididae is increased. Our project highlights the vast amounts of undiscovered biodiversity of the Brazilian rocky savannas, which are under high anthropogenic threat."


Story Source:

Materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Paulo H.C. Corgosinho, Nikolaos V. Schizas, Daniel Previattelli, Carlos E. Falavigna da Rocha, Edinaldo Nelson dos Santos-Silva. A new genus of Parastenocarididae (Copepoda, Harpacticoida) from the Tocantins River basin (Goiás, Brazil), and a phylogenetic analysis of the Parastenocaridinae. Zoosystematics and Evolution, 2017; 93 (1): 167 DOI: 10.3897/zse.93.11602

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "New species of Brazilian copepod suggests ancient species diversification and distribution." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2017. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170320104035.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2017, March 20). New species of Brazilian copepod suggests ancient species diversification and distribution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 29, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170320104035.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "New species of Brazilian copepod suggests ancient species diversification and distribution." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170320104035.htm (accessed March 29, 2017).