Endemism of subterranean Diacyclops in Korea and Japan, with descriptions of seven new species of the languidoides-group and redescriptions of D. brevifurcus Ishida, 2006 and D. suoensis Ito, 1954 (Crustacea, Copepoda, Cyclopoida)
Karanovic, T.; Grygier, M.J.; Lee, W.
Zookeys 267: 1-76
ISSN/ISBN: 1313-2989 PMID: 23653520 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.267.3935
Copepods have been poorly studied in subterranean habitats in Korea. Previous records have indicated mostly the presence of species already described from Japan, with very few endemic elements. This commonality has usually been explained by repeated dispersal across the land bridges that connected the two countries several times during the Pleistocene glacial cycles. However, the Korean Peninsula is known for pockets of Cambrian and Ordovician carbonate rocks, with more than 1,000 caves already having been explored. The relative isolation of these carbonate pockets makes for an enormous speciation potential, and the development of a high level of short-range endemism of subterranean copepods should be expected. Representatives of the genus Diacyclops Kiefer, 1927 are here investigated from a range of subterranean habitats in South Korea, with comparative material sampled from central Honshu in Japan. Morphological analyses of microcharacters, many of which are used in cyclopoid taxonomy for the first time herein, reveal high diversity in both countries. No subterranean species is found in common, although the existence of four sibling species pairs in Korea and Japan may be indicative of relatively recent speciation. We describe seven new stygobiotic species, including three from Korea (Diacyclops hanguk sp. n., Diacyclops leeae sp. n., and Diacyclops parasuoensis sp. n.) and four from Japan (Diacyclops hisuta sp. n., Diacyclops ishidai sp. n., Diacyclops parahanguk sp. n., and Diacyclops pseudosuoensis sp. n.). Diacyclops hanguk, Diacyclops parasuoensis, Diacyclops ishidai, and Diacyclops parahanguk are described from newly collected material, while the other three new species are proposed for specimens previously identified as other, widely distributed species. Diacyclops brevifurcus Ishida, 2006 is redescribed from the holotype female, and Diacyclops suoensis Ito, 1954 is redescribed from material newly collected near the ancient Lake Biwa in Japan. This research provides evidence for the importance of subterranean habitats as reservoirs of biodiversity, and also demonstrates the inadequacy of current morphological methods of identifying closely related species of copepods. The disproportionately high diversity discovered around Lake Biwa provides further evidence in support of the hypothesis about the role of ancient lakes as biodiversity pumps for subterranean habitats. A key to the East Asian species of the languidoides-group is provided.