Marin I.N., Palatov D.M. 2022. Lifestyle switching and refugee availability are the main factors in the evolution and distribution of the genus Synurella Wrześniowski, 1877 (Amphipoda: Crangonyctidae) // Arthropoda Selecta. Vol.31. No.4: 393–448 [in English],

A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of RAS, Moscow 119071, Russia. E-mails: ,

doi: 10.15298/arthsel.31.4.04

ABSTRACT. The article represents an integrative revision of the Caucasian representatives of the genus Synurella Wrześniowski, 1877 (Amphipoda: Crangonyctidae) with a description of five new species, namely Synurella premontana Marin et Palatov sp.n. (Shids river basin), S. adegoyi Marin et Palatov sp.n. (Adegoy river basin), S. monteflumina Palatov et Marin sp.n. (Olkhovka river basin), S. gizmavi Palatov et Marin sp.n. (Gizmava Cave) and S. inkiti Palatov et Marin sp.n. (Inkit Lake). S. taurica Martynov, 1931 (Yalta area and southwestern Krasnodar Krai) and S. behningi (Birštein, 1948) (Bacha Cave) are re-described based on topotypic material and their taxonomy and distribution are discussed in the article. Synurella donensis (Martynov, 1919) should be transferred to the genus Pontonyx Palatov et Marin, 2021. The molecular phylogeny confirmed the monophyly of the “Synurella” clade of the family Crangonyctidae, and of the genus Synurella itself. Three main clades are presented within the genus Synurella: “ambulans”, comprising mainly northwestern European epigean species; “behningi”, consisting of the Caucasian subterranean species; and “intermedia” with epigean species from Slovenia and Slovakia, which are closely related to probably basal (=ancestral) species of the genus, Synurella longidactylus S. Karaman, 1929 from Ohrid Lake. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that lifestyle switching (hypogean vs. epigean) should be considered as a driving factor in the evolution/distribution of the genus Synurella, while existing of refugee in the northern Black Sea region (for example, Colchis) allowed the genus to survive during the Pliocene. The Balkan Peninsula is considered as the “center of origin” of the genus in the late Miocene, while the southwestern Caucasus is the modern diversity “hotspot” of the genus. The expansion of the genus to the north and northwest, as well as to Central and Eastern Europe, probably occurred during the late Pleistocene by the epigean species originated in the Caucasus.

KEY WORDS: Crustacea, Amphipoda, Crangonyctidae, Synurella, diversity, phylogeny, hypogean, epigean, Caucasus, refugia.

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