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      Small is beautiful: the first phylogenetic analysis of Bryodelphax Thulin, 1928 (Heterotardigrada, Echiniscidae)

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      Zoosystematics and Evolution

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          The phyletic relationships both between and within many of tardigrade genera have been barely studied and they remain obscure. Amongst them is the cosmopolitan Bryodelphax, one of the smallest in terms of body size echiniscid genera. The analysis of newly-found populations and species from the Mediterranean region and from South-East Asia gave us an opportunity to present the first phylogeny of this genus, which showed that phenotypic traits used in classical Bryodelphax taxonomy do not correlate with their phyletic relationships. In contrast, geographic distribution of the analysed species suggests their limited dispersal abilities and seems to be a reliable predictor of phylogenetic affinities within the genus. Moreover, we describe three new species of the genus. Bryodelphax australasiaticus sp. nov., by having the ventral plate configuration VII:4-4-2-4-2-2-1, is a new member of the weglarskae group with a wide geographic range extending from the Malay Peninsula through the Malay Archipelago to Australia. Bryodelphax decoratus sp. nov. from Central Sulawesi (Celebes) also belongs to the weglarskae group (poorly visible ventral plates VII:4-2-2-4-2-2-1) and is closely related to the recently described Bryodelphax arenosus Gąsiorek, 2018, but is differentiated from the latter by well-developed epicuticular granules on the dorsum. Finally, a new dioecious species, Bryodelphax nigripunctatus sp. nov., is described from Mallorca and, by the reduced ventral armature (II/III:2-2-(1)), it resembles Bryodelphax maculatus Gąsiorek et al., 2017. The latter species, known so far only from northern Africa, is recorded from Europe for the first time. A taxonomic key to the genus members is also presented.

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          SequenceMatrix: concatenation software for the fast assembly of multi-gene datasets with character set and codon information

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              On the inappropriate use of Kimura-2-parameter (K2P) divergences in the DNA-barcoding literature

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Zoosystematics and Evolution
                ZSE
                Pensoft Publishers
                1860-0743
                1435-1935
                May 27 2020
                May 27 2020
                : 96
                : 1
                : 217-236
                Article
                10.3897/zse.96.50821
                © 2020

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