Sexual, ontogenetic, and geographic variation of the Neotropical freshwater ostracod Cytheridella ilosvayi

Published on 2019-05-24T05:00:00Z (GMT) by
Abstract Background The Neotropics are considered to represent one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth. Nonetheless, many species are assumed to have widespread distributions and occur in the entire Neotropical range. However, many freshwater invertebrates such as ostracods challenge this contradiction since they live in discrete habitats and possess no active dispersal abilities. The freshwater ostracod Cytheridella is a prime example for this paradigm. From three extant species, only one is described to occur ubiquitously within the Neotropics. Examination of morphological variability is the prerequisite for identification of environmentally induced variations, estimation of inter- and intraspecific variability, and, ultimately, the distinction of species. This study focuses on the quantitative investigations of the appendages of Cytheridella from several living populations sampled in Florida, Mexico, Colombia, and Brazil. Results The morphological traits including podomere ratios and limb-limb ratios, showed that the largest variability occurs at the antennae, and proved a geographical structure. Soft parts reflect the morphological divergence of regional Cytheridella priorly demonstrated by valves shape variability. Additionally, allometric coefficients, limb dimensions and body proportions revealed sexual and female biased size dimorphism. Large variability ranges of A-1 juveniles with reproductive anlagen could be the result of temporary deformations due to imminent moulting. Conclusion The geographical structure in the morphological variability allows the conjecture how widespread (freshwater invertebrate) species in the Neotropics may have arisen. Passive dispersal via e.g., birds can constitute the maximum ranges of species. If a population has adapted to local ecological conditions and may have occupied all available niches it may impede colonisation through (occasionally) other species. Relatively recent speciation(s) could explain why morphological divergence is not recognizable in qualitative investigations.

Cite this collection

Wrozyna, Claudia; Meyer, Juliane; Gross, Martin; Ramos, Maria; Piller, Werner (2019): Sexual, ontogenetic, and geographic variation of the Neotropical freshwater ostracod Cytheridella ilosvayi. figshare. Collection.