Regional Genetic Distance of Two Ephemeral Pool Crustaceans:Triops (Branchiopoda:Notostraca) and Streptocephalus (Branchiopoda: Anostraca)
Triops (Branchiopoda: Notostraca) and Streptocephalus (Branchiopoda: Anostraca) are two crustaceans which cohabitate in ephemeral freshwater pools. They both lay desiccation resistant eggs that disperse passively to new hydrologically isolated environments. The extent of genetic distance among regions and populations is of perennial interest in animals that live in such isolated habitats. Populations in six natural ephemeral pool habitats located in two different regions of the Sonoran Desert and a transition area between the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts were sampled. Sequences from Genbank were used for reference points in the determination of species as well as to further identify regional genetic distance within species. This study estimated the amount of within and between genetic distance of individuals from each region and population through the use of a neutral marker, cytochrome oxidase I (COI). We concluded that, although the method of passive dispersal may differ between the two genera, the differences do not results in different patterns of genetic distances between regions and populations. Furthermore, we only found the putative species, Triops longicaudatus "short", with enough distinct speciation. Although Triops longicaudatus "long" and Triops newberryi may be in the early stages of speciation, this study does not find enough support to conclude that they have separated.