A study of the water fleas (Crustacea: Cladocera) in man-made lakes in the northeast part of the United Arab Emirates revealed five species: Ceriodaphnia cf. cornuta Sars, 1885; Daphnia (Ctenodaphnia) arabica Neretina, Al Neyadi et Hamza, 2022; Moina cf. micrura Kurz, 1875; Anthalona mediterranea (Yalim, 2005); Coronatella anemae Van Damme et Dumont, 2008. The morphologies of the four taxa are described in detail, except that of D. Arabica, which has been described previously. The phylogenies of the C. cornuta and M. micrura species groups were reconstructed based on sequences of the COI mitochondrial gene and the possible divergence age of the Arabian clades was estimated based on molecular clocks with paleontological calibration. We concluded that the C. cornuta complex was differentiated in the Upper Jurassic to Lower Cretaceous. The splitting off of clades containing the Arabian population took place during the Oligocene to Miocene. The M. micrura species group was differentiated in the Upper Cretaceous, and the splitting off of clades including Arabian populations took place around the Oligocene. Therefore, the clades (of different hierarchical orders) in the Arabian Peninsula are very old compared to clades of similar rank in northern Eurasia, which usually have Late Pleistocene history. Most of our sampled water bodies were newly constructed man-made reservoirs. As revealed, the phylogroups are locally distributed, and we hypothesized that they are colonists from surrounding natural water bodies inhabited by the relicts of older fauna that survived after the great climate aridization and then occupied newly available (man-made) biotopes.
- molecular clocks
- water fleas
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecological Modelling
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Nature and Landscape Conservation