Phylogeny of the genus Hesperodiaptomus (Copepoda) based on nucleotide sequence data of the nuclear ribosomal gene
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- Marszalek, M.A., Dayanandan, S. & Maly, E.J. Hydrobiologia (2009) 624: 61. doi:10.1007/s10750-008-9666-8
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The genus Hesperodiaptomus Light, 1938, one of the most diverse groups of freshwater copepods that occur in North and Central America, plays a major role in the food webs of the alpine freshwater communities. Phylogenetic relationships of these taxa remain poorly understood due to difficulties in obtaining reliable morphological characters for phylogenetic analyses. To understand the phylogenetic relationships within this group, we reconstructed a partial phylogeny of the genus Hesperodiaptomus based on nuclear ribosomal gene sequences. Phylogenetic analyses based upon the taxa examined supported the monophyly the genus and revealed two clades. The eiseni clade comprised species that are morphologically similar to Hesperodiaptomus eiseni (Lilljeborg, 1889), and the shoshone clade included species morphologically similar to Hesperodiaptomus shoshone (S.A. Forbes, 1882). The two groups can be distinguished by a modification of the right basis, the arrangement of spinules on the distal pad of the second exopod, and the degree of presence the inner lamellar expansion of the right coxa.