Notes on the ecology and distribution of a water flea complex (Anomopoda, Daphniidae) revealed by new DNA barcodes in the Iberian Peninsula
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AuthorLópez Blanco, Charo; Sahuquillo, María; Vicente, Eduardo; García-Alix Daroca, Antonio; Epp, Laura S.
Ceriodaphnia smirnoviCOICryptic cladoceransSpainTemporary pondsWater fleas
SponsorshipDepartamento de Estratigrafía y Paleontología
Available DNA barcodes of freshwater zooplankton are scarce in regions like the Iberian Peninsula, which harbours many rare and endemic species and is considered a hotspot of crustacean biodiversity. Recently, a new species of Ceriodaphnia (Cladocera: Daphniidae) was described using morphological analysis of specimens in the Mediterranean region and molecular data on a single locality in southern Spain. In our study, we detected the presence of the newly discovered taxa and here, we provide new DNA sequences on the barcoding region mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I together with ecological information of the recently described Ceriodaphnia smirnovi. Additionally, we built a molecular phylogenetic tree and genetically compared these specimens with previously available mitochondrial DNA sequences and with new sequences of the genus recovered in Iberia. Our data suggest that this morphospecies might contain some cryptic taxa and might be more common than previously thought, occupying temporary to semi-permanent ecosystems, with vegetation and highly variable pH and turbidity conditions. Moreover, the existence of a non-identified clade within our phylogenetic tree requires additional morphological research. Our study highlights the need for further research on microcrustacean biota to better constrain its spatial boundaries, phylogenetic relationship and determine species hiding cryptic diversity