Ethiopian Journal of Biological Sciences

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Studies of the cladocera (Crustacea: branchiopoda) of Ethiopia: current state and further perspectives

Anna N. Neretina, Wondie Zelalem, Alexey A. Kotov


The cladoceran fauna of Ethiopia (East Africa) was analyzed based on original sampling data, obtained during activity of the Joint Ethio-Russian Biological Expedition. In total, we found 63 species of Cladocera in Ethiopian water bodies: 26 species of Chydoridae, 18 species of Daphniidae, 6 of Moinidae, 5 of Macrothricidae, 5 of Sididae, 2 of Ilyocryptidae and 1 of Bosminidae. The highest cladoceran diversity (39 taxa) was marked in the mountainous Lake Tana; some of them are typical only for this lake. Diverse lakes, rivers and temporary pools have lower species diversity (24 taxa in total). Water bodies of Bale Mountains are characterized by significantly low cladoceran diversity and high proportion of endemic taxa which are still waiting for detailed description. In general, Ethiopia is inhabited by typical tropical cladocerans with broad distribution ranges, cosmopolitan, circumtropical and Afrotropical-Palearctic species, as well as endemic taxa for Africa and Ethiopian high mountains regions. A cladoceran collection created as a result of our work will be a base for future taxonomic and ecological studies in Ethiopia.

Keywords/phrases: Africa, Biodiversity, Cladocera, Morphology, Taxonomy

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