Invertebrate Systematics Invertebrate Systematics Society
Systematics, phylogeny and biogeography
Invertebrate Systematics

Invertebrate Systematics

Volume 31 Number 2 2017


The systematics of subterranean monotypic amphipod genus Awacaris remains unclear because its original description is incomplete. Detailed observation of the newly collected specimens reveals the presence of sternal gills, which is the diagnostic character of the pontogeneiid genus Sternomoera, making the validity of Sternomoera open to question. Morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses suggested that Sternomoera should be treated as a subjective junior synonym of Awacaris.

IS16035Cyphastrea (Cnidaria : Scleractinia : Merulinidae) in the Red Sea: phylogeny and a new reef coral species

Roberto Arrigoni, Michael L. Berumen, Danwei Huang, Tullia I. Terraneo and Francesca Benzoni
pp. 141-156
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Scleractinian corals are ecological significant animals for coral reefs but they are undergoing degradation caused by a multitude of anthropogenic impacts. Here, we present a molecular phylogeny of the common genus Cyphastrea from the isolated Red Sea and we describe a new species, Cyphastrea magna. These findings suggest that coral biodiversity is underestimated with strong implications to conservation plans.

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Mexican red-knee tarantula (Brachypelma smithi) is one of the most smuggled species. Little information is known on how to distinguish them from other red-kneed species. Using morphology and COI-based DNA, we found that the species from Guerrero is B. smithi, and that B. annitha becomes a junior synonym of this, whereas the species from Jalisco, Colima and Michoacán is B. hamorii. The barcode marker COI proved to be sufficient for correct species identification. Thus, it may be useful for preventing black market trade and reintroducing tarantulas in the correct distribution areas. Photograph: Male Brachypelma smithi, by J. Mendoza.

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In this paper, we describe two new species of Australian termite from the genus Coptotermes, a diverse group of insects with very varied nesting habits (e.g. timber, living trees, and mounds). Both physical and DNA-based analyses were used to describe these species. We believe that using a combination of physical and DNA-based evidence will become an increasingly common method for characterizing this group of insects. Photograph: Soldier of Coptotermes cooloola (A) and Coptotermes nanus (B) by Anna Namyatova and Tim Lee, scale bar = 0.5 mm.

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Species of Schizoptera, the largest genus of the poorly studied litter bugs showcase intriguing morphologies, including sexually dimorphic wings – but the genus is long overdue for a systematic revision. We present the first molecular phylogeny for Schizoptera, providing a framework for a manageable systematic revision of this speciose group. Furthermore, we show that female-specific elytra evolved multiple times within this genus, making it an attractive model for the study of sexually dimorphic traits and their selective pressures. Photograph: Male and female of Schizoptera sulcata, by S. Leon.

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The Parabathynellidae are an ancient and relatively rare group of obligate subterranean aquatic crustaceans (stygofauna), characterised by narrow distributions in Australian groundwaters. A new genus and species of the family Parabathynellidae is described from south-east Queensland, Australia. This is the first work to couple molecular sequence data to the morphological description of a stygofauna species in Queensland. Photograph: Lockyerenella danschmidti, gen. et sp. nov. Microscope photography by Jane McRae and Bennelongia Environmental Consultants, Perth.

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Caridina genus is the most speciose and the most taxonomically confused of all the shrimps genera. To clarify the systematic of that group, there is a need to combine all the available characters in an integrative taxonomy approach. Herein, we proved the validity of Caridina buehleri Roux, 1934 and C. gueryi Marquet, Keith & Kalfatak, 2009 as its junior synonym by using a combination of morphological and molecular characters. This approach needs to be extended to the whole genus to resolve its confused taxonomy. Photograph by H. Evers.

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