Crustaceans from the second largest river basin in South America

April 28, 2015, Pensoft Publishers
Morphological structures analyzed in males of Diaptomidae species in the new guide. Credit: Gilmar Perbiche-Neves

A group of zoologists from Brazil and England presents a new guide for identification of planktonic calanoid copepods from the Diaptomidae family.

The guide contains detailed information for the identification of 19 of copepods from rivers and reservoirs within the "de la Plata" basin, the second largest in South America and tenth in the world. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

"This guide is the product of five years of continuous work on the identification of these animals. In 2010 we sampled 43 rivers and reservoirs in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. For this extensive fieldwork we traveled 28,000 kilometers in 90 days, in summer and winter", explains the lead author Dr. Perbiche-Neves about their fieldwork and following identification efforts.

The new guide contains identification keys and species diagnoses for males and females, richly supported by scanning electronic micrographs and/or line drawings of 19 species.

It also includes some general remarks on the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of these species. The key was adjusted to be useful for these species only, with separate keys for each sex, and is the first for females of South America.

This is the first attempt to compile comprehensive taxonomic information on this group of copepods in this region, and it is expected to become a useful tool for biologists and young taxonomists interested in the crustacean biota of the Neotropical region.

"We also hope that this guide will inspire the realization of similar resources worldwide," adds Dr. Perbiche-Neves, from Universidade Estadual do Centro Oeste in Paraná State, Brazil.

Line drawing of a diaptomid species from 'De la Plata' River Basin. Credit: Gilmar Perbiche-Neves
Light micrograph comparing males of N. henseni (on left) - specimen from the Grande River (FUR-D), and N. amazonicus (on right) - specimen from Uatumã River, State of Amazonas, Brazil. Credit: Gilmar Perbiche-Neves

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More information: Perbiche-Neves G, Boxshall GA, Previattelli D, Nogueira MG, da Rocha CEF (2015) Identification guide to some Diaptomid species (Crustacea, Copepoda, Calanoida, Diaptomidae) of "de la Plata" River Basin (South America). ZooKeys 497: 1-111. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.497.8091

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