The freshwater copepods are a group with very interesting ecological
characteristics; their real importance in the continental aquatic ecosystems
is unquestionable; however, there is scarce knowledge of them. These microcrustaceans are found mainly in tropical zones; in Mexico, a large
quantity of continental bodies of water exist whose copepod fauna remains
completely unknown. In the case of the Yucatan Peninsula, efforts have not
been sufficient to characterize the copepod fauna. Without a doubt, a factor
associated with the scarce regional knowledge of this group is the
difficulty in its taxonomic study, which requires the management and
dissection of specimens of 0.3 mm to 2 mm in length.
The objective of this paper is to contribute to the knowledge of the
copepods found in the bodies of water of the Yucatan Peninsula. This work
required the meticulous revision of extensive taxonomic literature of the
group and other specialized literature. It was complemented with the
analysis of our own field and laboratory data, including collections
originating from more than 30 dispersed localities in several zones of the
peninsula. The specimens are described in simple female and male forms and
represent more than 30 species in those zones. A key is devised for
the identification of the copepods found in the samples analyzed.
Eduardo Suárez-Morales, Colegio de la Frontera
Sur (ECOSUR), Unidad Chetumal, A.P. 424, Chetumal, Quintana Roo, 77000.
México - Janet W. Reid, Virginia Museum of Natural History, 1001 Douglas
Avenue, Martinsville, Virginia 24112 USA - Thomas M. Iliffe, Department of Marine
Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston, P.O. Box 1675, Galveston, Texas 77553, USA
- Frank Fiers, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat
29, B-1000, Brussels, Belgium.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org -
email@example.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
Keywords: copepods; Yucatan; Mexico; freshwater; caves; cenotes; taxonomy.