, Volume 500, Issue 1–3, pp 103–114 | Cite as

A biogeographical analysis of rotifers of the genus Trichocerca Lamarck, 1801 (Trichocercidae, Monogononta, Rotifera), with notes on taxonomy

  • Hendrik Segers


An analysis of distribution patterns reveals a unique group of Nearctic endemics in Trichocerca Lamarck, 1801. This group, comprising 13.4% of all taxa analysed in the genus, is of diverse origin. A glacial origin is postulated for one species. The observed biogeographic pattern of eight others, and possibly two New World taxa, suggests a pre-Pleistocene origin followed by differential extinctions during glaciations in the Nearctic and Palaearctic. In general, endemism in Trichocerca is strongly biased towards the Northern hemisphere, with no endemism in tropical regions. This suggests a Laurasian origin of the genus. The analysis further reveals a majority (65.7%) of widely distributed taxa, with strict cosmopolitanism in more than a third of the species analysed. Latitudinal variation is evident in 26.9% of Trichocerca, and a warm-water preference appears to be indicated for a majority of these. Although the results should be interpreted with caution due to confused taxonomy, a Southern hemisphere, warm-water and Northern hemisphere, cold water component appear to be present. Comments on the taxonomy and distribution of several species are provided, along with illustrations of poorly known species. Suggestions include elevating T. maior (Hauer, 1936) to species rank, and several new cases of synonymy.

biogeography Rotifera North America Trichocerca T. maior taxonomy 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hendrik Segers
    • 1
  1. 1.Freshwater BiologyRoyal Belgian Institute of Natural SciencesBrusselsBelgium

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