Zoological Studies

Vol. 59, 2020

(update: 2020.07.08; 08.05)

Special Issue: Fossil and Modern Clam Shrimp (Branchiopoda: Spinicaudata, Laevicaudata)

Distribution of Clam Shrimps (Crustacea: Laevicaudata and Spinicaudata) in South Africa, with New Records from the Northern Cape Province

Elizabeth Meyer-Milne1,*, Musa C. Mlambo2,3, and D. Christopher Rogers4


1South African Environmental Observation Network, P.O. Box 110040, Hadison Park, Kimberley, 8306, South Africa. *Correspondence: E-mail: betsiemilne@gmail.com (Meyer-Milne)
2Department of Freshwater Invertebrates, Albany Museum, Rhodes University affiliated Research Institute, Somerset Street, Grahamstown, 9139, South Africa. E-mail: musa.mlambo@gmail.com (Mlambo)
3Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, 6140, South Africa.
4Kansas Biological Survey, and The Biodiversity Institute, The University of Kansas, Higuchi Hall, 2101 Constant Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66047-3759, USA. E-mail: Branchiopod@gmail.com (Rogers)

(Received 27 November 2019 / Accepted 15 January 2020)
Special issue (articles 32-46) communicated by Thomas A. Hegna and D. Christopher Rogers

The ephemeral waterbodies of southern Africa are regarded a global hotspot for large Branchiopod diversity. Although the distributions and systematics of Anostraca and Notostraca have been fairly well defined, clam shrimps have received much less attention. So far, 18 clam shrimp species are known from the sub-region, but none of the available published literature defines their distribution in South Africa. Furthermore, most of the recent studies were concentrated in the mesic provinces, while very little information is available from the Northern Cape, where most ephemeral waterbodies in the country occur. This study reviews the distribution of clam shrimps in South Africa by reviewing published distribution records and contributing novel data from surveys in the Northern Cape. We found that 13 of the 18 species from the sub-region occur in South Africa, of which four are restricted to their respective provinces. We further clarify the current state of endemism patterns in South Africa and provide novel findings from the Northern Cape, including three new range extensions. The Northern Cape hosts the highest species richness, with nine species, followed by the Eastern Cape, where seven species have been recorded so far. Most other provinces have low species richness and endemism, while no species records have been published from the Limpopo province yet. Surveys over large geographical scales are important, and more research is needed on clam shrimp systematics in South Africa.

Key words: Wetlands, Ephemeral, Endemism, Richness, Branchiopoda.

Citation: Meyer-Milne E, Mlambo MC, Rogers DC. 2020. Distribution of clam shrimps (Crustacea: Laevicaudata and Spinicaudata) in South Africa, with new records from the Northern Cape Province. Zool Stud 59:39. doi:10.6620/ZS.2020.59-39.