Nine new species of Bennelongia De Deckker & McKenzie, 1981 (Crustacea, Ostracoda) from Western Australia, with the description of a new subfamily

  • Koen Martens Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
  • Stuart Halse 5 Bishop Street, Jolimont WA 6014 › PO Box 384, Wembley WA 6913 Tel 08 9285 8722 Fax 08 9285 8811 Mob 0438 961 354
  • Isa Schon Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences Freshwater Biology Vautierstraat 29 B-1000 Brussels
Keywords: Taxonomy, evolution, Ostracoda, cryptic species, Biodiversity, Western Australia


The genus Bennelongia De Deckker & McKenzie, 1981 is most likely endemic to Australia and New Zealand and, up to now, only two described species in this genus had been reported from Western Australia. Extensive sampling in Western Australia revealed a much higher specific diversity. Here, we describe nine new species in three lineages, within the genus Bennelongia: B. cygnus sp. nov. and B. frumenta sp. nov. in the B. cygnus lineage, B. gwelupensis sp. nov., B. coondinerensis sp. nov., B. cuensis sp. nov., B. lata sp. nov. and B. bidgelangensis sp. nov. in the B. australis lineage, and B. strellyensis sp. nov. and B. kimberleyensis sp. nov. (from the Pilbara and Kimberley regions respectively) in the B. pinpi-lineage. For six of the nine species, we were also able to construct molecular phylogenies and to test for cryptic diversity with two different methods based on the evolutionary genetic species concept, namely Birky’s 4 x rule and the GYMC model. These analyses support the specific nature of at least four of the five new species in the B. australis lineage and of the two new species in the B. pinpi lineage. We also describe Bennelongiinae n.subfam. to accommodate the genus. With the nine new species described here, the genus Bennelongia now comprises 15 species, but several more await formal description.

Author Biography

Koen Martens, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences

Head of Department

Freshwater Biology


Altschul S.F., Gish W., Miller W., Myers E.W. & Lipman D.J. 1990. Basic local alignment search tool. Journal of Molecular Biology 215: 403-410.

Balian E., Segers H., Lévêque C. & Martens K. 2008. The freshwater animal diversity assessment: an overview of the results. In: Balian E. et al. (eds.), Freshwater animal diversity assessment. Hydrobiologia 595: 627-637.

Birky C.W. Jr., Adams J., Gemmel M & Perry J. 2010. Using Population Genetic Theory and DNA sequences for species detection and identification in asexual organisms. PLoS ONE 5: e10609.

Birky C.W. Jr. & Barraclough T.G. 2009. Asexual speciation. In: Schön I., Martens K. & Van Dijk P. (eds), Lost sex: 201-216. Springer Scientific Publishers, Dordrecht.

Birky C.W. Jr., Ricci C., Melone G. & Fontaneto D. 2011. Integrating DNA and morphological taxonomy to describe diversity in poorly studied microscopic animals: new species of the genus Abrochtha Bryce, 1910 (Rotifera: Bdelloidea: Philodinavidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 723-734.

Bode S.N.S., Adolfsson S., Lamatsch D.K., Martins M.J.F., Schmit O., Vandekerkhove J., Mezquita F., Namiotko T., Rossetti G., Schön I., Butlin R.K. & Martens K. (2010). Exceptional cryptic diversity and multiple origins of parthenogenesis in a freshwater ostracod. Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution 54: 542-552.

Brady G.S. 1886. Notes on Freshwater Entomostraca from South Australia. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 54: 82-93.

Broodbakker N.W. & Danielopol D.L. 1982. The chaetotaxy of Cypridacea (Crustacea, Ostracoda) limbs: proposals for a descriptive model. Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 52: 103-120.

Clement M., Posada D. & Crandall K. 2000. TCS: a computer program to estimate gene genealogies. Molecular Ecology 9: 1657-1660.

Davies J. & Christides F. 1997. A guide to the wetland invertebrates of southwestern Australia. Western Australian Museum, Perth.

De Deckker P. 1981a. Taxonomy and ecological notes of some ostracods from Australian inland waters. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 105 (3): 91-138.

De Deckker P. 1981b. Ostracoda from Australian inland waters – notes on taxonomy and ecology. Transactions of the Royal Society of Victoria 93 (1): 43-85.

De Deckker P. 1982. On Bennelongia tunta De Deckker sp.nov. A Stereo-Atlas of Ostracod Shells 9 (21): 117-124.

De Deckker P & McKenzie K.G. 1981. Bennelongia, a new Cyprididid ostracod genus from Australasia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia 105 (2): 53-58.

Folmer O., Black M., Hoeh W., Lutz R. & Vrijenhoek R. 1994. DNA primers for amplification of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I from diverse metazoan invertebrates. Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology 3 (5): 294-299.

Fontaneto D., Herniou E.A., Boschetti C., Caprioli M., Melone G., Ricci C., Barraclough T. 2007. Independently evolving species in asexual bdelloid rotifers. PLoS Biology 5: e87.

Fontaneto D., Kaya, M., Herniou E.A., Barraclough T.G. 2009. Extreme levels of hidden diversity in microscopic animals (Rotifera) revealed by DNA taxonomy. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53: 182-189.

Guindon S. & Gascuel O. 2003. PhyML – a simple, fast, and accurate algorithm to estimate large phylogenies by maximum likelihood. Systematic Biology 52: 696-704.

Halse S.A. 2002. Diversity of Ostracoda (Crustacea) in inland waters of Western Australia. Verhand-lungen Internationale Vereinigung für theoretische und angewandte Limnologie 28: 914-918.

Harmon L.J., Weir J.T., Brock C.D., Glor R.E. & Challenger W.L. 2008. GEIGER: investigating evolutionary radiations. Bioinformatics 24: 129-131.

Hart M.W. & Sunday J. 2007. Things fall apart: biological species form unconnected parsimony networks. Biological Letters 3: 509-512.

Horne D.J. & Martens K. 1998. An assessment of the importance of resting eggs for the evolutionary success of non-marine Ostracoda (Crustacea). In: Brendonck L., De Meester L. & Hairston N. (eds.), Evolutionary and ecological aspects of crustacean diapause. Advances in Limnology 52: 549-561.

Horne D.J., Cohen A. & Martens K. 2002. Taxonomy, Morphology and Biology of Quaternary and Living Ostracoda. In: Holmes, J.A. & Chivas A.R. (eds), The Ostracoda: Application in Quaternary Research. Geophysical Monograph 131: 5-36.

Horne D.J. & Colin J.P. 2005. The affinities of the ostracod genus Cypridea Bosquet, 1852, and its allies, with consideration of implications for the phylogeny of non-marine Cypridoidean ostracods. Revue de Micropaléontologie 48: 25-35.

Huelsenbeck J.P. & Ronquist F. 2001. MRBAYES: Bayesian inference of phylogenetic trees. Bioinformatics 17: 754-755.

IUCN 2012. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species [online]. Available from [accessed 10.1.2012].

Karanovic I. 2007. Candoninae (Ostracoda) from the Pilbara region in Western Australia. Crustaceana Monographs 7: 1-433, Brill.

Karanovic I. 2008. Three interesting Cyprididae (Ostracoda) from Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 24: 267-287.

Koenders A., Martens K., Halse S.A. & Schön I. (submitted). The empire strikes back – English cryptic species of the Eucypris virens species complex (Ostracoda, Crustacea) have invaded Western Australia. Biological Invasions.

Larkin M.A., Blackshields G., Brown N.P., Chenna R., McGettigan P.A., McWilliam H., Valentin F., Wallace I.M., Wilm A., Lopez R., Thompson J.D., Gibson T.J. & Higgins D.G. 2007. Clustal W and Clustal X version 2.0. Bioinformatics 23: 2947-2948.

Lévêque C., Balian E.V. & Martens K. 2005. An assessment of animal species diversity in continental waters. Hydrobiologia 542: 39-67. 10.1007/s10750-004-5522-7

Martens K. 1987. Homology and functional morphology of the sexual dimorphism in the antenna of Sclerocypris Sars, 1924 (Crustacea, Ostracoda, Megalocypridinae). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde 57: 183-190.

Martens K. 1990. Taxonomic revision of African Cypridini. Part I. The genera Cypris O.F. Müller, Pseudocypris Daday and Globocypris Klie. Bulletin van het Koninklijk Belgisch Instituut voor Natuurwetenschappen, Biologie 60: 127-172.

Martens K. 1992. Taxonomic revision of African Cypridini. Part II. Description of Ramotha gen.nov. Annals of the South African Museum 102 (2): 91-130.

Martens K. 2007. On a new species and genus in the Cypridini (Crustacea, Ostracoda, Cyprididae) from South Africa, with a phylogenetic analysis of the tribe and a discussion on the genus concept in this group. Journal of Natural History 41 (5-8): 381-399.

Martens K., Schön I., Meisch C. & Horne D.J. 2008. Global biodiversity of non-marine Ostracoda (Crustacea). Hydrobiologia 595: 185-193. 10.1007/s10750-007-9245-4

Martens K. & Savatenalinton S. 2011. A subjective checklist of the Recent, free-living non-marine Ostracoda (Crustacea). Zootaxa 2855: 1-79.

Meisch C. 2000. Freshwater Ostracoda of Western and Central Europe. In: Schwoerbel, J. & Zwick P. (eds), Süßwasserfauna von Mitteleuropa 8/3: 1-522. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg, Berlin.

Nunes Brandao S., Sauer J. & Schön I. 2010. Circumantarctic and eurybathid distribution in Southern Ocean benthos? A genetic test using Macrocyprididae (Crustacea, Ostracoda) as model organism. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 55: 1055-1069.

Paradis E., J. Claude & K. Strimmer 2004. APE: analyses of phylogenetics and evolution in R language. Bioinformatics 20: 289-290.

Pinder A.M., Halse S.A., Shiel R.J. & McRae J.M. 2000. Granite outcrop pools in south-western Australia: foci of diversification and refugia for aquatic invertebrates. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 83: 149-161.

Pons J., Barraclough T., Gomez-Zurita J., Cardoso A., Duran D., Hazell S., Kamoun S., Sumlin W., Vogler A. 2006. Sequence-based species delimitation for the DNA taxonomy of undescribed insects. Systematic Biology 55: 595-609.

Posada D. 2008. jModelTest: Phylogenetic model averaging. Molecular Biology and Evolution 25: 1253-1256.

Savatenalinton S. & Martens K. 2010. On the subfamily Cypricercinae McKenzie, 1971 (Crustacea, Ostracoda) from Thailand, with the description of six new species. Zootaxa 2379: 1-77.

Schmidt H.A., Strimmer K., Vingron M., & von Haeseler A. 2002. TREE-PUZZLE: maximum likeli-hood phylogenetic analysis using quartets and parallel computing. Bioinformatics 18: 502-504.

Swofford D.L. 1998. PAUP. Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony (and other methods), version 4.0. Sunderland Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts.

Tamura K., Peterson D., Peterson N., Stecher G., Nei M. & Kumar S. 2011. MEGA5: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis using Likelihood, Distance, and Parsimony methods. Molecular Biology and Evolution 28 (10): 2731-2739.

Whatley R.C. 1992. The reproductive and dispersal strategies of Cretaceous non-marine Ostracoda: the key to pandemism. In: Mateer N.J. & Chen P.J. (eds.), Aspects of non-marine Cretaceous geology: 177-192. China Ocean Press, Bejing.

How to Cite
Martens, K., Halse, S., & Schon, I. (2012). Nine new species of Bennelongia De Deckker & McKenzie, 1981 (Crustacea, Ostracoda) from Western Australia, with the description of a new subfamily. European Journal of Taxonomy, (8).