Unravelling the Potamonautes lirrangensis (Rathbun, 1904) species complex (Potamoidea: Potamonautidae), with the description of two new species

  • Neil Cumberlidge Northern Michigan University, Biology, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, Michigan 49855, USA https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0568-6414
  • Emily Johnson Northern Michigan University, Biology, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, Michigan 49855, USA
  • Paul F. Clark Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD, UK
  • Martin J. Genner School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1TQ, UK
Keywords: freshwater crabs, Africa, Potamonautes amosae sp. nov., P. kisangani sp. nov., P. orbitospinus (Cunnington, 1907), revision, taxonomy


The taxonomic status of the widely distributed freshwater crab Potamonautes lirrangensis (Rathbun, 1904) sensu lato is revised because morphological and molecular evidence indicates that this taxon is a complex comprising more than one species. Four taxa are now recognized: Potamonautes lirrangensis (Rathbun, 1904) s. str. and P. kisangani sp. nov. from the Middle Congo River in Central Africa, P. amosae sp. nov. from the drainages of Lakes Kivu and Tanganyika, and P. orbitospinus (Cunnington, 1907) from Lake Malawi which had been previously synonymised with P. lirrangensis s. lat. Diagnoses, illustrations and distribution maps are provided for each of these taxa and they are compared to similar species from Central and Southern Africa.


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How to Cite
Cumberlidge, N., Johnson, E., Clark, P. F., & Genner, M. J. (2021). Unravelling the Potamonautes lirrangensis (Rathbun, 1904) species complex (Potamoidea: Potamonautidae), with the description of two new species. European Journal of Taxonomy, 744(1), 145–178. https://doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2021.744.1309
Research article