Distribution and assemblages of large branchiopods (Crustacea: Branchiopoda) of northern Western Ghats, India
The present study is a report on the distribution and assemblages of large branchiopods from the Western Ghats of Maharashtra. Different types of water bodies were sampled including pools on lateritic outcrops. Eight species of large branchiopods were found in 72 samples collected over a period of 4 years. We found 7 large branchiopod species in rock pools, while the cyclestheriid Cyclestheria hislopi was observed only in rivers and water reservoirs. In twenty-five percent of the samples multiple species co-occurred with a maximum of 4 species in a single sample. Streptocephalus dichotomus was the most commonly observed species while Streptocephalus sahyadriensis was noted only in rock pools. Altitude and aquatic vegetation were identified as important factors for the distribution of large branchiopods in the studied area. Triops granarius was the species most commonly found to be co-occurring with other species, followed by S. sahyadriensis. Cyclestheria hislopi and Eulimnadia indocylindrova always occurred alone.
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