Tuesday, December 27, 2016

[Crustacea • 2016] Potamonautes gorongosa • A New Species of Potamonautid Freshwater Crab (Decapoda, Brachyura) from Mozambique, southeastern Africa

Potamonautes gorongosa 
Cumberlidge, Naskrecki & Daniels, 2016 

A new species of the freshwater crab genus Potamonautes MacLeay, 1838, is described from Gorongosa National Park in Sofala Province, Mozambique, southern Africa. Potamonautes gorongosa, new species, is morphologically and phylogenetically distinct from the other species of Potamonautes found in Mozambique and nearby countries, and is most closely related to Potamonautes mutareensis Phiri and Daniels, 2013, from eastern Zimbabwe. The new species differs from this species and its other congeners by a unique combination of morphological characters of the first gonopod, the anterior sternum, third maxilliped, and the major cheliped. Illustrations of P. gorongosa new species are provided, and differences with other species found in Mozambique and southeastern Africa are discussed.

Keywords: Afrotropical region; Gorongosa National Park; Potamonautidae; taxonomy.


Family Potamonautidae Bott, 1970

Genus Potamonautes MacLeay, 1838

Potamonautes gorongosa new species

Potamonautes sp. 2 - Daniels et al., 2015: Pg. 553, Table 1; Pg. 558, Fig. 2.

Etymology. The new species is named for Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, the only place that it is known to occur (so far).

DistributionPotamonautes gorongosa, new species, is known from one locality in Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. This is a 4,000 km2 park at the southern end of the Rift Valley in central Mozambique, and includes Mount Gorongosa (1,863 m asl) where P. gorongosa was collected. The Gorongosa National Park dominates the Gorongosa District in Sofala Province of Mozambique.

Habitat. The freshwater crabs reported on in the present study were collected by the second author from Sofala Province in Mozambique, in highland and montane fresh waters where the vegetation type is predominantly savanna with fast-flowing mountain streams and rivers. This narrow 450 km long area lies within the Eastern Zimbabwe Highlands ecoregion in southeastern Africa along the eastern border of Zimbabwe with Mozambique and includes the Nyanga and Chimanimani mountains whose rivers drain eastwards through Mozambique (Thieme et al., 2005; Abell et al., 2008). The known locality for P. gorongosa lies in the Zambezian lowveld freshwater ecoregion that comprises most of western and northern Mozambique and extends from south of the Zambezi delta in central Mozambique southwards to the Tugela River system in South Africa (Thieme et al., 2005; Abell et al., 2008). This species was collected with P. obesus a semi-terrestrial burrowing freshwater crab found in the coastal belt of eastern Africa from Kenya to Mozambique (Reed and Cumberlidge, 2004). The report of P. obesus from western Mozambique is a new record for this species in this part of the country.

Neil Cumberlidge, Piotr Naskrecki and Savel R. Daniels. 2016. Potamonautes gorongosa, A New Species of Potamonautid Freshwater Crab (Decapoda, Brachyura) from Mozambique, southeastern Africa. 
Nauplius. 24, e2016029. DOI:  10.1590/2358-2936e2016029.

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