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    The ephemeral waterbodies of southern Africa are regarded a global hotspot for large Branchiopod diversity. Although the distributions and systematics of Anostraca and Notostraca have been fairly well defined, clam shrimps have received much less attention. So far, 18 clam shrimp species are known from the sub-region, but none of the available published literature defines their distribution in South Africa. Furthermore, most of the recent studies were concentrated in the mesic provinces, while very little information is available from the Northern Cape, where most ephemeral waterbodies in the country occur. This study reviews the distribution of clam shrimps in South Africa by reviewing published distribution records and contributing novel data from surveys in the Northern Cape. We found that 13 of the 18 species from the sub-region occur in South Africa, of which four are restricted to their respective provinces. We further clarify the current state of endemism patterns in South Africa and provide novel findings from the Northern Cape, including three new range extensions. The Northern Cape hosts the highest species richness, with nine species, followed by the Eastern Cape, where seven species have been recorded so far. Most other provinces have low species richness and endemism, while no species records have been published from the Limpopo province yet. Surveys over large geographical scales are important, and more research is needed on clam shrimp systematics in South Africa.


    Elizabeth Meyer-Milne, Musa C Mlambo, D Christopher Rogers. Distribution of Clam Shrimps (Crustacea: Laevicaudata and Spinicaudata) in South Africa, with New Records from the Northern Cape Province. Zoological studies. 2020;59:e39

    PMID: 33335589

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