Drawn to the dark side: A molecular phylogeny of freshwater shrimps (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea: Atyidae) reveals frequent cave invasions and challenges current taxonomic hypotheses
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Atyid freshwater shrimps are globally distributed and form an important part of freshwater ecosystems, particularly in the tropics and subtropics. Despite their widespread distribution and ecological importance, their phylogenetic relationships are largely unresolved. Here we present the first comprehensive molecular phylogeny of the Atyidae investigating the evolutionary relationships among 32 of the 42 genera using mitochondrial and nuclear markers. Our data indicate that the established classification of the Atyidae is in need of substantial taxonomic revision at all taxonomic levels. We suggest a new suprageneric systematization of atyids and discuss problematic issues at the generic level, particularly in the most speciose genus, Caridina. Molecular clock based divergence time estimates for atyids vary widely, but invariably support the assumption that atyids are an ancient freshwater lineage with an origin in the mid-Cretaceous at the very latest. Atyid distribution patterns are the result of instances of both longdistance ispersal and vicariance, depending largely on the reproductive mode of taxa. From an evolutionary perspective, the high frequency of independent origin of both a complete (landlocked) freshwater life cycle and a cave-dwelling mode of life is remarkable and unparalleled among crustaceans.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution
Animal Systematics and Taxonomy