FunNature & AnimalTwo new crustaceans discovered in the Iberian Peninsula

Two new crustaceans discovered in the Iberian Peninsula

crustaceos-peninsulaA team of scientists has describedof cladocerous crustaceans, that it could beendemic to the Iberian Peninsulaand that they were found in two lagoons, one in the lower Guadalquivir basin and the other in a pasture in Extremadura. Both could currently inhabit more regions of the Mediterranean area.

The first of the species discovered in the Peninsula,Iberian leydigia, had previously been described by the name ofLeydigia acanthocercoides. The crustacean was found in the Longuilla lagoon, in the lower basin of the Guadalquivir river. “In the Iberian Peninsula, Leydigia acanthocercoides had always been cited and most likely many crustaceans that have been identified with this name belong to one of the new species discovered. But it is possible thatLeydigia acanthocercoidesit doesn’t even exist in the Peninsula, “says Miguel Alonso, a researcher at the Department of Ecology at the University of Barcelona (UB), in statements to the SINC Agency.

The second type,Leydigia korovchinskyi, was found in the Chaparral lagoon, a pond located in an Extremadura pasture where cattle drink. These cladocerous crustaceans measure one millimeter and inhabit bodies of fresh water that often dry out.

The research, which has been published in the journalZootaxa, reveals that both species are very old – from the Permian (250 million years ago) -, and their rate of morphological change is very slow. The two crustaceans appear to be endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. However, according to the study, they could be distributed over a wider area, along the Mediterranean area. All these areas would represent “a hot spot for the endemism of cladocerous crustaceans, as occurs in Japan and eastern Russia,” says Alonso.

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