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A Cladistic Analysis and Taxonomic Revision of Australian Metacyclops and Goniocyclops, with Description of Four New Species and Three New Genera (Copepoda, Cyclopoida)

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 12:06 authored by Karanovic, T, Eberhard, SM, Murdoch, A
Four new small subterranean cyclopid species are described from Australia in a newly erected genus Anzcyclops n. gen.: A. yarriensis n. sp. (type), A. belli n. sp., A. ballensis n. sp., and A. euryantennula n. sp. Three species are from the Pilbara region in Western Australia, the fourth species from central Queensland. Another previously described species from New Zealand is transferred to this genus, A. silvestris (Harding, 1958) n. comb., originally described in the genus Goniocyclops Kiefer, 1955. The new genus has a number of unique features, including dorsoventrally compressed habitus, reticulated integument of prosomites, and a characterstic shape of the fifth leg. It is most closely related to the South American genus Muscocyclops Kiefer, 1937, and the two share the same spine formula of the swimming legs (, but they can be distinguished by a number of characters in the shape of the genital double-somite, caudal rami, and anal operculum, as well as in the armature of the first leg. Our preliminary cladistic analysis revealed the polyphyletic nature of the endemic Australian genus Fierscyclops Karanovic, 2004. As a result, the subgenus Pilbaracyclops Karanovic, 2006 is upgraded to full generic rank and its two species are given as new combinations: P. supersensus (Karanovic, 2006) n. comb. (type) and P. frustratio (Karanovic, 2006) n. comb. The assemblage of Australian species previously considered members of the genus Metacyclops Kiefer, 1927 is also found to be polyphyletic and all five Australian representatives and one New Zealand species of the so-called “trispinosus”-goup are transferred into a newly erected genus Pescecyclops n. gen.: P. laurentiisae (Karanovic, 2004) n. comb. (type), P. pilanus (Karanovic, 2004) n. comb., P. arnaudi (G. O. Sars, 1908) n. comb., P. monacanthus (Kiefer, 1928) n. comb., P. kimberleyi (Karanovic, 2004) n. comb., and P. pilbaricus (Karanovic, 2004) n. comb. After this, only two Australian species are left in the genus Metacyclops: M. mortoni Pesce, De Laurentiis & Humphreys, 1996 and M. superincidentis Karanovic, 2004. Pescecyclops is defined by the presence of three spines on the distal exopodal segment of all swimming legs, only one apical spine on the fourth leg endopod, and absence of any sexual dimorphism in postantennular appendages, in addition to a Metacyclops-like fifth leg. Two Australian species previously considered members of Goniocyclops and one as a member of Allocyclops Kiefer, 1932 proved to be relatively closely related to each other and quite separate from other members of their respective genera. They are transferred into a third new genus, Dussartcyclops n. gen., although subdivided into two subgenera: D. (s. str.) uniarticulatus (Karanovic, 2004) n. comb. (type), D. (s. str.) mortoni (Karanovic, 2004) n. comb., and D. (Barrowcyclops) consensus (Karanovic, 2003) n. comb. They all have a reduced armature of the swimming legs (spine formula, vermiform habitus, and the fifth leg exopod armed with two subequal apical setae, but the subgenus Barrowcyclops n. subgen. has the exopod of the fifth leg fused basally to the somite and the inner spine on the first leg basis absent, in addition to a more plesiomorphic endopodal armature of the first and fourth legs.


Publication title









Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


Brill Academic Publishers

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Plantijnstraat 2, P O Box 9000, Leiden, Netherlands, 2300 Pa

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Copyright 2011 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden

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Socio-economic Objectives

Fresh, ground and surface water biodiversity