Recently, a new genus and species of freshwater stygobiotic calanoid was discovered in Yunnan, China. This research is published in Zootaxa：https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4290.1.12 .
Southeast Asia and South China is an area where the development of karst landforms is relatively concentrated. A large number of caves and groundwater are distributed in Karst areas. The environment leads to form the life habits of many cave fishes that live in the water bottom.
Calanoid is a common group of zooplankton in surface water, but when they entered cave environment, only a few population could adapt to the darkness and the shortage of food, even evolved to the stygobiotic species.
Stygobiotic calanoid has long been regarded as an exception among subterranean taxa (because calanoid still practice a planktonic way of life while most of others are benthic). There are only 10 species of calanoid found in the world. Argyrodiaptomus cavernicolax (Shen & Tai, 1964) was originally described from Longyan Cave in Guangdong Province, China, but in recent study, it is regarded as an epigean species because it does not show any subterranean morphological adaptations.
Recently, cooperating with domestic and foreign experts, Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS described the first stygobiotic Calanoida in China. The specimens were collected from Luoping County, Yunnan Province, and named Karstodiaptomus sheni, which is dedicated to Prof. SHEN Chia-Jui, an exceptional Chinese specialist on Copepoda.
The first author is Assistant professor SHU Shusen and corresponding author is Prof. CHEN Xiaoyong. The work is supported by Southeast Asia Biodiversity Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Yunnan Provincial Science and Technology Program.
the first stygobiotic Calanoida in China: the left is male and the right is female (Image by CHEN Xiaoyong’s group)
(By SHU shusen, Editor: HE Linxi)