An integrative re-evaluation of Typhlatya shrimp within the karst aquifer of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico




Simões, Nuno


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The Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico is a carbonate platform well-known for extensive karst networks of densely stratified aquifer ecosystems. This aquifer supports diverse anchialine fauna, including species of the globally distributed anchialine shrimp genus Typhlatya (Atyidae). Four species (T. campecheae, T. pearsei, T. dzilamensis and T. mitchelli) are endemic to the Peninsula, of which three are federally listed in Mexico. This first integrative evaluation (i.e., molecular, morphological, broad geographic and type locality sampling, and environmental data) of Yucatán Typhlatya reveals considerable species identity conflict in prior phylogenetic assessments, broad species ranges, syntopy within cave systems and five genetic lineages (of which two are new to science). Despite sampling from the type locality of endangered T. campecheae, specimens (and molecular data) were indistinguishable from vulnerable T. pearsei. Ancestral/divergence reconstructions support convergent evolution of a low-salinity ancestor for a post-Paleogene arc Yucatán + Cuba Typhlatya clade within the anchialine Atyidae clade. A secondary adaptation for the coastal-restricted euryhaline (2–37 psu), Typhlatya dzilamensis (unknown conservation status) was identified, while remaining species lineages were low-salinity (< 5 psu) adapted and found within the meteoric lens of inland and coastal caves. This study demonstrates the need for integrative/interdisciplinary approaches when conducting biodiversity assessments in complex and poorly studied aquifers.



biodiversity, conservation biology, evolutionary biology, evolutionary genetics, phylogenetics, taxonomy



Attribution 4.0 International


Ballou, L., Brankovits, D., Chávez-Solís, E.M. et al. An integrative re-evaluation of Typhlatya shrimp within the karst aquifer of the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. Sci Rep 12, 5302 (2022).