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You are here: Home / Associated publications / Belgian Journal of Zoology / Bibliographic References / Description of a new genus and two new species of Darwinulidae (Crustacea, Ostracoda), from Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) with some considerations on the morphological evolution of ancient asexuals

Giampaolo Rossetti, Ricardo Pinto and Koen Martens (2011)

Description of a new genus and two new species of Darwinulidae (Crustacea, Ostracoda), from Christmas Island (Indian Ocean) with some considerations on the morphological evolution of ancient asexuals

BELGIAN JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 141(2):55-74.

Darwinulidae is believed to be one of the few metazoan taxa in which fully asexual reproduction might have persisted for millions of years. Although rare males in a single darwinulid species have recently been found, they may be non-functional atavisms. The representatives of this family are characterized by a slow evolutionary rate, resulting in a conservative morphology in the different lineages over long time frames and across wide geographic ranges. Differences between species and genera, although often based on small details of valve morphology and chaetotaxy, are nevertheless well-recognizable. Five recent genera (Darwinula, Alicenula, Vestalenula, Penthesilenula and Microdarwinula) and about 35 living species, including also those left in open nomenclature, are included in this family. Previous phylogenetic analyses using both morphological characters and molecular data confirmed that the five genera are good phyletic units. Here, we report on the results of a study on darwinulid ostracods from Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). The taxonomic investigation led to the description of a new genus and two new species, namely Isabenula humphreysi gen. nov. sp. nov. and Vestalenula sp. E, this latter being left in open nomenclature, because only one individual was available. A new phylogeny of the family, using 30 morphological characters of 23 described species, is here presented. A key to the genera of Recent Darwinulidae, based on the morphology of valves and soft parts in adult females, is also provided. The discovery of Isabenula gen. nov., which shares intermediate morphological features with the genera Vestalenula and Penthesilenula, opens new opportunities to critically reconsider previous hypotheses on tempo and mode of evolution in the family Darwinulidae and on the phylogenetic relationships between its representatives.

Ostracods; ancient asexuals; morphology; taxonomy; evolution; Isabenula humphreysi gen. nov sp nov.; Vestalenula sp E.
BJZ

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Editor-in-Chief:
Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium

 



1863-1903
Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
 
1903-1923
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
 
1923-1989
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
 
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Belgian Journal of Zoology