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Streptocephalus sangoensis n. sp. (Anostraca, Streptocephalidae), a new large branchiopod species for southern Africa

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Recent collections from the south-eastern Lowveld of Zimbabwe yielded an undescribed species of the freshwater branchiopod genus Streptocephalus. The species was formerly published as Streptocephalus cf. bidentatus by Brendonck & Riddoch (1997), indicating that more research was needed to prove its valid species status, distinct from S. bidentatus sensu stricto. The new species can be distinguished from S. bidentatus sensu stricto, mainly by its cercopods. The cercopods of S. bidentatus sensu stricto have spines in the distal third region of the furcal rami, while those of S. sangoensis n. sp. are setiferous up to the tips. All other morphological features are the same. The occurrence of the two species in syntopy further validates that they are different species. As with S. bidentatus sensu stricto, the new species S. sangoensis n. sp. was collected from ephemeral habitats. This region is a hotspot of large branchiopod diversity with a total of 16 known species occurring there.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Biological Sciences, University of Zimbabwe, P.O. Box MP167, Mount Pleasant, Harare, Zimbabwe ; 2: 2Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, P.O. Box 94, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa ; 3: 3Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, KU Leuven, Charles Deberiotstraat 32, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium

4Corresponding author; e-mail:

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