Palatov D.M., Marin I.N. 2021. Epigean (pond-dwelling) species of the genus Niphargus Schiцdte, 1849 (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Niphargidae) from the coastal plains of the Black and Azov seas of the north- and south-western Caucasus // Invertebrate Zoology. Vol.18. No.2: 105–151 [in English].
ABSTRACT: Four epigean species of the genus Niphargus Schiødte, 1849 (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Niphargidae), namely N. hrabei S. Karaman, 1932, N. valachicus Dobreanu et Manolache, 1933, N. magnus Birštein, 1940, N. potamophilus Birštein, 1954, were recorded as pond dwellers on the coastal plains of the Black and Azov seas of the north- and south-western Caucasus. N. potamophilus and N. magnus were re-described based on topotypic material; the first species is distributed in the lower part of the coastal plain of the Sea of Azov between the deltas of the Kuban and Don rivers, while the latter taxon is a complex of several cryptic species that are widely distributed in the Kolkhida coastal lowland plain of the eastern Black Sea (Colchis) from Russia to the north-eastern Turkey. N. cubanicus Birštein, 1954 was found to be a junior synonym of N. hrabei, which was firstly reported from the Russian Caucasus, in the upper part of the coastal plain of the Sea of Azov from the Kuban River delta. N. valachicus was firstly reported from the Colchis near Poti, Georgia. Neotypes based on topotypic material were selected for N. potamophilus and N. magnus, since the original type material was lost. Molecular genetic data for these Caucasian species are presented for the first time.
KEY WORDS: Crustacea, Amphipoda, Niphargidae, Niphargus, diversity, epigean, Caucasus, Ciscaucasia.