The freshwater Diaptomidae (Calanoida : Copepoda) of Southern Africa.
Rayner, Nancy Alison.
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Freshwater copepod taxonomy has been neglected in southern Africa for more than 50 years and this has placed a constraint on research on the biology and ecology of this important component of the freshwater invertebrate fauna. In this review of the calanoid family Diaptomidae of southern Africa, keys to the freshwater families, the African genera and southern African species are presented as well as diagnoses of the family Diaptomidae and the subfamilies Paradiaptominae and Diaptominae. The genus Lovenula has been revised. All available information on each species has been collated. This includes illustrations of the most important identifying characters, synonymies, a record of material examined and a map of distribution. The discovery of 11 new species, four Paradiaptomus, two, Metadiaptomus and five Tropodiaptomus, indicates that the diaptomid fauna of southern Africa is more diverse than was previously envisaged. Biogeography and evolution of the group is discussed with reference to vicariance, dispersal and palaeoenvironments of the African continent. The Paradiaptominae (Lovenula, Paradiaptomus and Metadiaptomus) are endemic to Africa, while the Diaptominae have one endemic African genus Thermodiaptomus and the other, Tropodiaptomus, is not limited to the African continent. The latter genus has speciated throughout the warmer regions of Africa, with more than 30 described species. Additional collections from isolated regions will, without doubt, substantially increase this number. Included in the account is a glossary of copepod terminology, an explanation of local limnological terms in current use, and a gazetteer. Biographical information on the pioneers of copepod research in southern Africa is included.