Freshwater mites (Hydrachnidia) from springs in Trentino

About 1.000 species are presently recorded from Europe. About one third of them is found regularly in springs and about 20 % are strictly bound to this habitat-type ("crenobionts"): such species are unable to complete their life cycles e in streams, in groundwater, or in stagnant waters.

Notwithstanding intense research, detection of species new to science is possible also in the better studied parts of Europe. In the course of the CRENODAT project, the presence of 45 species has been documented so far in springs of the Trentino. Also here we discovered a species never registrated before.

Obviously, the population of the genus Lebert a, characterized by striking morphological features, is phylogenetically far distant from all known representatives of the genus: The stout mouth parts are flanked by a strange, nose-shaped extension of the anterior coxae; of particular interest is the presence of six pairs of osmoregulatory "acetabula" in the genital field.

As is evidenced by SEM photographs, the increased number of these organs is reached by bipartition of the typically three pairs of "acetabula" found in other species of the genus. So far, this character state was known only in members of the family Torrenticolidae. In the newly discovered species the doubling of acetabula was surely reached by parallel evolution, phylogenetical relations between the two clades are to be excluded. The new species obviously represents also a subgenus new to science and will be described soon in a scientific paper.


Bryophytes and vascular plants in Trentino’s springs: preliminary results

Nematodes in spring

Spring Oligochaetes (Beatrice Sambugar)

Freshwater mites (Hydrachnidia) from springs in Trentino

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