Taxonomy, morphology and speciation of the Semicytherura henryhowei group (Crustacea, Ostracoda)
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The genus Semicytherura belongs to the family Cytheruridae, and was distinguished from Cytherura on the basis of carapace features. Species of Semicytherura from Japan and adjacent seas can be divided into two groups. One is represented by Semicytherura miurensis Hanai, 1957, characterized by a thin, oval carapace covered with fine reticulation. The other is represented by Semicytherura henryhowei Hanai & Ikeya, 1977, characterized by a thick sub-rectangular carapace in lateral view. Semicytherura henryhowei, which is distributed from Hokkaido to Okinawa in Japan, has been regarded as having several morphotypes distinguishable on outline and reticulation of carapace. However, as a result of detailed observations on the copulatory organ, carapace outline and distributional pattern of pore systems, remarkable differences are shown to exist between the two most frequently occurring morphotypes. In order to recognize S. henryhowei sensu stricto, the carapace of the holotype was re-examined. Consequently, neither of the two morphotypes are considered to belong to S. henryhowei due to differences of carapace outline and distribution of pore systems. The two morphotypes are here regarded as independent taxa, described as new: S. kazahanan. sp. and S. sasameyukin. sp. The geographical distributions of the two new species overlap, but their micro-habitats differ from each other; the former lives on calcareous algae on rocky shores, the latter lives on silty sand bottom within the inner bay. A third new species, S. slipperi sp. nov., is also described. In view of their present geographical distributions and fossil records, the origin of this group of species would appear to be the Japanese islands or adjacent areas in and after the Miocene. This group then migrated to the Arctic Ocean and East Pacific Ocean during or before the middle Pliocene.
KeywordsSemicytherura Ostracoda sibling species speciation biogeography
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