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A new species of Afrolaophonte (Copepoda, Harpacticoida, Laophontidae) from Korea and cladistic tests of species-groups

Journal of Species Research / Journal of Species Research, (E)2713-8615
2022, v.11 no.4, pp.239-252
Tomislav Karanovic
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Afrolaophonte koreana sp. nov. is described from the intertidal zone of two sandy beaches on the south coast of Korea. This is the first record of the genus Afrolaophonte Chappuis, 1960 in the Northern Pacific. The new species is most similar to A. aequatorialis Cottarelli and Mura, 1981, described from the Maldives and subsequently also found in Papua New Guinea, but could be distinguished by numerous characters, including the segmentation of the third leg endopod in male, armature formula of the second leg in both sexes, length of caudal rami in both sexes, and length of some setae on the fourth leg in female. Afrolaophonte ensiger Wells and Rao, 1987 from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is established as a junior subjective synonym of A. aequatorialis. To test previous phylogenetic hypotheses based on intuitive methods, a parsimony based cladistic analysis of 13 valid congeners is performed using 15 morphological characters and one outgroup. Only one of three previously proposed species-groups is supported with a synapomorphy, while one was clearly based on symplesiomorphies. Our current knowledge of morphology in this genus is not sufficient for postulating interspecific phylogenies, which also renders previous zoogeographical hypotheses untestable.

intertidal sand, meiofauna, new species, Northern Pacific, phylogeny, taxonomy



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