Cryptic or pseudocryptic: can morphological methods inform copepod taxonomy? An analysis of publications and a case study of the Eurytemora affinis species complex

D. Lajus, N. Sukhikh, V. Alekseev

Research output

45 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Interest in cryptic species has increased significantly with current progress in genetic methods. The large number of cryptic species suggests that the resolution of traditional morphological techniques may be insufficient for taxonomical research. However, some species now considered to be cryptic may, in fact, be designated pseudocryptic after close morphological examination. Thus the “cryptic or pseudocryptic” dilemma speaks to the resolution of morphological analysis and its utility for identifying species. We address this dilemma first by systematically reviewing data published from 1980 to 2013 on cryptic species of Copepoda and then by performing an in-depth morphological study of the former Eurytemora affinis complex of cryptic species. Analyzing the published data showed that, in 5 of 24 revisions eligible for systematic review, cryptic species assignment was based solely on the genetic variation of forms without detailed morphological analysis to confirm the assignment. Therefore, some newly describ
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2374-2385
JournalEcology and Evolution
Volume5
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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