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Diacyclops (Copepoda: Cyclopoida) in Continental Antarctica, including three new species

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 November 2013

Tomislav Karanovic*
Department of Life Sciences, Hanyang University, Seoul 133-791, Korea Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 129, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
John A.E. Gibson
Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 129, Hobart, TAS 7001, Australia
Ian Hawes
Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, Private Bag 4800, Christchurch, New Zealand
Dale T. Andersen
Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, SETI Institute, 189 Bernado Avenue, Suite 100, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
Mark I. Stevens
Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity, University of Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia South Australian Museum, GPO Box 234, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia


Contrary to earlier beliefs, crustaceans are present in ice-covered lakes of Antarctica. Interpretation of the significance of this has been hampered by the absence of robust identification of taxa present. We examine cyclopoid copepods from three widely separated lakes. All belong to the michaelseni group of the genus Diacyclops, which is widespread across Continental Antarctica, but do not fit into any existing species. Two new species were identified from eastern Antarctica, D. walkeri from Pineapple Lake (Vestfold Hills) and D. kaupi from Transkriptsii Gulf (Bunger Hills). Most significant was a dense population of a new epibenthic species (D. joycei) associated with microbial mats in Lake Joyce, one of the smaller McMurdo Dry Valleys lakes. This represents the first record of adult cyclopoid copepods from the ice-covered lakes of the Transantarctic Mountains. Continental Antarctica is the centre of diversity for this group of crustaceans and we argue that this is better explained by persistence through past glacial advances rather than by recent post-glacial colonization. The existence of a species endemic to Lake Joyce but apparently absent from other Dry Valleys lakes is discussed in relation to our understanding of the history of the McMurdo Dry Valleys lakes and their faunas.

Biological Sciences
Copyright © Antarctic Science Ltd 2013 

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