Marin I.N. 2019. Crustacean “cave fishes” from the Arabika karst massif (Abkhazia, Western Caucasus): new species of stygobiotic crustacean genera Xiphocaridinella and Niphargus from the Gegskaya Cave and adjacent area // Arthropoda Selecta. Vol.28. No.2: 225–245 [in English].
A.N. Severtzov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of RAS, Leninsky prosp., 33, Moscow 119071 Russia. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
doi: 10.15298/arthsel. 28.2.05
ABSTRACT. Stygobiotic animals washed from various groundwater sources from the Arabika karst massif (Abkhazia, Western Caucasus) were studied. As a result, new species of stygobiotic crustacean genera Xiphocaridinella and Niphargus were described based on DNA (COI mtDNA gene marker) and morphological studies in the Gegskaya (Gega) Cave. These crustaceans are probably the legendary cave-dwelling “fishes” which were previously reported from the Arabika karst massif. At the same time, during the study, no real cave fish or any evidence of their presence was found. Genetic delimitation thresholds for Caucasian Niphargus species are also discussed in the paper.
KEY WORDS: Crustacea, Malacostraca, Xiphocaridinella, Atyidae, Niphargus, Nipharidae, stygobiotic, new species, Gegskaya Cave, Arabika, Abkhazia, Caucasus.