As part of recent limnological campaigns in Apulia (south-eastern Italy), 217 temporary and permanent ponds were studied. The diaptomid calanoid copepod Neolovenula alluaudi was collected in eight of these ponds. These findings represent the first record of the species in Italy. Morphological features are provided with original drawings and these are compared with the descriptions currently available in the literature. Environmental variables were recorded in order to provide information on the ecological preferenda of the species in its Italian occurrence sites, and co-occurring crustacean fauna was identified and reported for each pond. A thorough review of the available literature allowed us to more accurately determine the chorology of the species and to propose a biogeographical hypothesis concerning its distribution. A map of the species’ occurrence sites, derived from literature data and the new Italian sites, is presented and it is suggested that the actual chorotype of N. alluaudi is the result of an association of the Saharian and Turanic-European-Mediterranean chorotypes.
Copepoda, Italian fauna, biogeography, inland waters, zooplankton, species distribution
Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Puglia; Parco Nazionale dell’Alta Murgia