Bogidiellidae is the most diverse and cosmopolitan family of stygobiotic amphipods, and inhabits a variety of subterranean biotopes, especially interstitial habitats. While the family is characterized by considerable sexual dimorphism, this dimorphism has adversely affected our understanding of the systematics of the group. Most species have restricted geographic ranges and occur in difficult to sample habitats, so it is common for individual species descriptions to be based on a single sex. In this work we revisit an analysis of morphological characters in an attempt to clarify their phylogenetic utility in resolving taxonomic relationships among genera by introducing a new species, two additional characters, and phylogenetic statistical support values. Eobogidiella venkataramani sp. n., from a spring fed brook in the Shirawati River basin along the escarpment of the Western Ghats (Karnataka, India) differs from the only known congener, Eobogidiella purmamarcensis, from Argentina, in the structure of mouthparts, the shape and ornamentation on gnathopods and characters of the telson. Our phylogenetic analyses indicate that the available morphological characters are not sufficient to resolve phylogenetic relationships within Bogidiellidae, thus these characters alone cannot be used to determine the phylogenetic placement of E. venkataramani sp. n. within the family. Nevertheless, E. venkataramani sp. n. shares diagnostic characters with Eobogidiella, supporting placement of the new species in this genus. Our findings point towards a critical need to resolve relationships within the family using molecular approaches, along with the development of a suite of additional morphological characters for Bogidiellidae. This is the third species of Bogidiellidae from southern India.
- Phylogenetic analysis
- Subterranean fauna
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology