• Molecular genetic analysis of stygobiotic shrimps revealed the connectivity among distant caves
  • A new stygobiotic shrimp species is described
  • The recent diversity of the genus Xiphocaridinella from Caucasus is increasing up to 13 species
  • Karst hydrosystems can be identified with biospeleological methods (i.e. barcoding)


Based on the morpho-genetic study of stygobiotic shrimps from the genus Xiphocaridinella Sadowsky, 1930 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Atyidae), a hydrogeological connection of a number of distant caves in Central Abkhazia of the southwestern Caucasus is satisfied, which indicates the possibility of using biospeleological studies in some cases to identify karst hydrosystems together with traditional hydrogeological methods. Moreover, a new stygobiotic atyid shrimp from the genus Xiphocaridinella, X. kelasuri sp. n., is described based on morphology and analysis of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I DNA sequences from three distant caves. The new species is genetically divergent from relatives and phylogenetically related to Xiphocaridinella smirnovi Marin, 2020, described from the Besletka (=Tskaro) Cave. Recently, the number of described speciesof the genus Xiphocaridinella from Caucasus has increased to 13 species, while the diversity of Xiphocaridinella found in the Besletka (=Tskaro) Cave is increasing to 3 species, which is higher than in any other known cave where Troglocaris-like shrimps have been discovered.



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