During the analysis of littoral samples collected from a high-altitude saline crater lake in Central Mexico, several female and male specimens of harpacticoid copepods were recovered and taxonomically examined. They were found to represent an undescribed species of the canthocamptid genus Cletocamptus Schmankewitsch, 1875. The new species, C. gomezi n. sp. is described herein based on specimens of both sexes. It resembles C. stimpsoni Gómez, Fleeger, Rocha-Olivares and Foltz, 2004 from Louisiana but also C. trichotus Kiefer, 1929. The new species differs from C. stimpsoni and from other congeners by details of the maxillular armature, the setation of the endopodal segments of legs 2 and 3, and the armature of the third exopodal segment of legs 3 and 4. Also, the dorsal (VII) and the outer (IV) caudal setae are both relatively shorter than in C. stimpsoni. This is the second species of the genus known to be distributed in Mexico. The occurrence of the new species in a high-altitude saline lake, the isolation of the type locality, and its absence from adjacent freshwater lakes suggest that this species is endemic to this site.
saline lakes, crustacean fauna, copepods, Neotropics, meiobenthos