A new species of Metacyclops Kiefer, 1927 (Copepoda, Cyclopidae, Cyclopinae) from the Chihuahuan desert, northern Mexico
NANCY FABIOLA MERCADO SALAS
EDUARDO SUAREZ MORALES
ALEJANDRO MANUEL MAEDA MARTINEZ
MARCELO SILVA BRIANO
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"A new species of the freshwater cyclopoid copepod genus Metacyclops Kiefer, 1927 is described from a single pond in northern Mexico, within the binational area known as the Chihuahuan Desert. This species belongs to a group of Metacyclops species with a 3443 spine formula of swimming legs. It is morphologically similar to Metacyclops lusitanus Lindberg, 1961 but differs from this and other congeners by having a unique combination of characters, including a caudal rami length/width proportion of 3.5–3.8, a innermost terminal seta slightly longer than the outermost terminal seta, intercoxal sclerites of legs 1-4 naked, a strong apical spine of the second endopodal segment of leg 1 and one row of 6-8 small spinules at the insertion of this spine. The finding of this species represents also the first record of the genus in Mexico and the third in North America, where only two other species, M. gracilis (Lilljeborg, 1853) and M. cushae Reid, 1991 have been hitherto reported. This is also the first continental record of a species of Metacyclops from an arid environment in the Americas. This species appears to be endemic to the Chihuahuan Desert, thus emphasizing the high endemicity of this area."
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