Tropical Amphi-Pacific disjunctions in the Cladocera (Crustacea: Branchiopoda)

  • Kay Van Damme | University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.
  • Artem Y. Sinev M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Russian Federation.


Tropical Amphi-Pacific and trans-Pacific disjunctions are among the most controversial distribution patterns in biogeography. A disjunct distribution pattern between SE Asia (in fact, Indochina-Assam) and the Neotropics is rarely investigated in freshwater invertebrates. In the following, we give the first review on potential tropical Amphi-Pacific disjunctions in the Cladocera (Crustacea: Branchiopoda), a group of freshwater microcrustaceans. As a case study, we examine the littoral-benthic freshwater genus Leydigiopsis Sars, 1901 (Cladocera: Anomopoda: Chydoridae). The lineage has four known species in the Neotropics and we examine the status of Leydigiopsis records from Indochina and Assam (India). Our morphological study shows that the Oriental Leydigiopsis is not a humanmediated introduced species from South America. The populations belong to a distinct species, which we describe as new from Thailand and Vietnam. We discuss the biogeography of Leydigiopsis and examine possible hypotheses underlying the observed distribution pattern (e.g. transoceanic long-distance dispersal, boreotropical migration scenario, African extinction scenario). Our case study shows that a boreotropical origin seems the most plausible scenario for the current distribution of this tropical chydorid lineage. In the absence of a good fossil record, we propose that a comparison with biogeographical hypotheses of plants, may provide useful analogies when studying anomopod biogeography, because ephippia, the propagules for dispersal, functionally act as minute aquatic plant seeds. We list other examples of potential tropical Amphi-or trans-Pacific disjunctions in the Cladocera, based on phenotypes and we provide an updated key to the Leydigiopsis species of the world. Undersampling, taxonomical bias, the absence of molecular data and a poor fossil record, remain the most important obstacles for studying biogeography in non-planktonic tropical freshwater zooplankton.



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Author Biographies

Kay Van Damme, University of Birmingham
Environmental Genomics Group, School of Biosciences
Artem Y. Sinev, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University
Department of Invertebrate Zoology, Biological Faculty
Freshwater Invertebrates Congress
Supporting Agencies
partly supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (grant 13-04-01065-а) and by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (14.740.11.1049, 8334).
Cladocera systematics, biogeography, Leydigiopsis pulchra n. sp., tropical Amphi-Pacific disjunctions, boreotropics, SE Asia.
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How to Cite
Van Damme K, Sinev AY. Tropical Amphi-Pacific disjunctions in the Cladocera (Crustacea: Branchiopoda). J Limnol [Internet]. 2013Dec.9 [cited 2021May19];72(s2):e11. Available from:

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