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Two New Species of Parastenocaris (Copepoda, Harpacticoida, Parastenocarididae) from Groundwater of Sardinia and Sicily

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Two species of harpacticoid copepods, Parastenocaris altitudinis sp. nov. and Parastenocaris luciae sp. nov., are described herein and their taxonomic position within the genus Parastenocaris is discussed. The new species were collected from the interstitial phreatic habitat of a small temporary stream at the top of Mount Limbara (Sassari province, Sardinia) and the river mouth of the temporary stream Cerasella (Palermo province, Sicily), respectively.

Parastenocaris altitudinis sp. nov. is characterized by the lack of the P4 endopod in males; this apomorphy is shared with three other species from Sardinia, one from the French Pyrenees and one from northern Portugal. The last two species were, so far, the only two in the dianae species group.

Parastenocaris luciae sp. nov. belongs to the hera species group, and can be distinguished from the other eight species of the group by the unusually large size of the maxillar endopodite, its pitted body surface, and the presence of one seta on the sixth segment of the male A1 and on the fifth segment of the female A1. Phylogenetically informative characters in the hera group are defined on the basis of the morphology of the maxillar endopod.

Information on the collecting stations and the accompanying harpacticoid fauna are also provided. Nel presente lavoro vengono descritte due specie di copepodi arpacticoidi, Parastenocaris altitudinis sp. nov. e Parastenocaris luciae sp. nov., e viene discussa la loro posizione all'interno del genere Parastenocaris. Le due nuove specie sono state raccolte in ambiente interstiziale freatico rispettivamente di un piccolo torrente temporaneo situato sulla cime del Monte Limbara (provincia di Sassari, Sardegna) e alla foce del torrente temporaneo Cerasella (provincia di Palermo, Sicilia).

Parastenocaris altitudinis sp. nov. è caratterizzata dall'assenza dell'endopodite P4 nei maschi; questa apomorfia è condivisa con altre tre specie sarde, con una dei Pirenei francesi, e con una del Portogallo settentrionale. Le ultime due specie sono, finora, le uniche due del gruppo di specie dianae.

Parastenocaris luciae sp. nov. appartiene al gruppo di specie hera, e si distingue dalle altre otto specie del gruppo per le notevoli dimensioni dell'endopodite della seconda mascella, per la superficie corporea variolata, e per la presenza di una setola sul sesto segmento dell'antennula del maschio e sul quinto segmento di quella della femmina. Vengono inoltre definite alcune condizioni filogeneticamente informative per il gruppo hera, sulla base della morfologia dell'endopodite delle seconde mascelle.

Si presentano anche informazioni sulle stazioni di raccolta e sulla fauna associata.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Environmental Sciences, University “della Tuscia”, Largo dell'Università snc, Viterbo, I-01100 Italy;, Email:; 2: Department of Environmental Sciences, University “della Tuscia”, Largo dell'Università snc, Viterbo, I-01100 Italy


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