Contributions to Zoology
School of Science
This work was supported by: Australian Government’s Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS), National Taxonomy Research Grant Program (NTRGP); Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) scholarship at Edith Cowan University; Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits Fund; International Conference on Subterranean Biology 2008 Grant; and CGL2015-66571-P project (MINECO/ FEDER, Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, Spain.
The stygofaunal family of Bathynellidae, is an excellent group to study the processes that shape diversity and distribution, since they have unknown surface or marine relatives, high level of endemism, and limited dispersal abilities. Recent research on Bathynellidae in Western Australia (Pilbara) has uncovered new taxa with unexpected distributions and phylogenetic relationships, but the biogeographical processes that drive their diversification on the continent are still unclear. By exploring the diversity, distribution, and divergence time of Bathynellidae in a setting such as the perched and isolated aquifers of the Cleaverville Formation in the north of the De Grey River catchment (Pilbara), we aim to test the hypothesis that vicariance has shaped the distribution of this family, specifically if one or multiple vicariant events were involved. We analysed the specimens collected from perched water in different plateaus of the Cleaverville Formation, combining morphological and molecular data from mitochondrial and nuclear genes. We described two new species and genera (Anguillanella callawaensis gen. et sp. nov. and Muccanella cundalinensis gen. et sp. nov.), and two additional taxa are recognised using morphology and/or Automatic Barcode Gap Discovery and Poisson Tree Processes species delimitation methods. New genera and species result restricted to isolate perched aquifers on single plateaus and their distributions, phylogenetic relationships, and divergence time estimates support multiple vicariant events and ancient allopatric speciation.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.