Distribution and biogeography of the Paradiaptominae (Copepoda: Calanoida: Diaptomidae)

  • NA Rayner Department of Zoology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Durban-Westville, Private Bag X54001, Durban 4000, South Africa


The Paradiaptominae, a subfamily of the large Diaptomidae family, is a small group of freshwater calanoids of which 24 species in four genera have been described. They are endemic to Africa with the exception of four species, Metadiaptomus asiaticus (Asia and Mongolia), M. gauthieri (Africa and Madagascar), Paradiaptomus greeni (India and Sri Lanka) and Neolovenula alluaudi (Canary Islands, North Africa, Baltic and Mediterranean countries). The North African species Metadiaptomus chevreuxi extends its range into Iraq and Iran. The Paradiaptominae are widely distributed in semi-permanent water bodies in the drier areas of Africa although most individual species have a restricted distribution. Only a few species have the ability to colonise permanent waters and these species are usually located at higher altitudes. The Paradiaptominae have not been recorded from the wet equatorial lowland areas of Africa. It seems likely that they are Gondwanian in origin as evidenced by their distribution (Africa, Madagascar, India and Sri Lanka). Neolovenula alluaudi (Mediterranean) shares morphological characters tenuously linked to the other species in the group and may either have a different origin or have branched off at an early stage in evolution of the group.

Keywords: Paradiaptominae; endemism; biogeography; Africa

(Afr J Aqua Sci: 2000 25: 93-97)

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914