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Interstitial Remains for Fauna Reconstruction of Desert Pools Using Fairy Shrimps as Example (Anostraca)

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

Abstract Remains of Anostraca, such as exuvia and cysts, are preserved in the sediments of temporary pools. Sampling the bottom gravels of the pools in the draining system of the Oued Djerat in the Sahara desert (Tassili N'Ajjer, Algeria; Kairaouan, Tunisia), revealed anostracan fauna diversity which surpassed that in live plankton sampling. The deposits in the Oued Djerat contained exuvia and cysts of Chirocephalus, Branchipus, and Streptocephalus, with S. torvicornis and S. rubricaudatus living together. Cyst variability of Streptocephalus torvicornis was higher than expected; even a type similar to S. ovamboensis was found. Taxonomy was corroborated by the morphology of exuvial remains of the limbs (endite 1) recovered from the same deposits.

Affiliations: 1: Ghent University, Laboratory of Animal Ecology, Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Gent, Belgium. (


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