Distribution of Recent ostracods in inland waters of Sicily (Southern Italy)
AbstractFrom 2003 to 2005, freshwater ostracods were sampled in 67 water bodies of mainland Sicily (Provinces of Agrigento, Caltanisetta, Catania, Enna, Palermo, Messina, Ragusa, Siracusa and Trapani) located from sea level up to 1300 m a.s.l. This survey took into account streams, springs, wells, but especially temporary and ephemeral habitats (e.g., flooded meadows, temporary ponds). The aim of this research was to give the first comprehensive picture of the regional ostracod fauna and establish relationships between the distribution of ostracod species and some habitat features. Altogether, 21 ostracod taxa belonging to five families (Candonidae, Ilyocyprididae, Cyprididae, Notodromadidae, and Limnocytheridae) were identified. A maximum of four species was found in a single sample. The most frequent species was Heterocypris incongruens, followed by Eucypris virens. The following ten taxa have been found only once: Candona lindneri, Ilyocypris decipiens, Notodromas persica, Trajancypris clavata, Herpetocypris brevicaudata, Heterocypris salina, Cypridopsis cf. elongata, Cypridopsis vidua, Potamocypris cf. villosa, and Limnocythere inopinata. The faunal assemblage of Sicily is compared with the known ostracod distribution in some Mediterranean areas.
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