Keith Crandall and Marcos Perez-Losada Published in Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society

July 10, 2017

Professor Keith Crandall and Assistant Research Professor Marcos Perez-Losada co-authored the study, "Looks can be deceiving: species delimitation reveals hidden diversity in the freshwater crab Aegla longirostri (Decapoda: Anomura)," which was published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society on July 3rd, 2017. Aegla is the most abundant and diversified genus of freshwater crabs from southern South America. Despite the high number of species described, their morphological diagnostic characters are not fully informative and exhibit little variation, which could result in cryptic species, as subtle interspecific differences can be easily overlooked. Our results suggest that the real diversity of aeglids may be largely underestimated and we discuss the conservation implications of cryptic diversity for this group. Given that prioritization of habitats for conservation often relies on estimation of species richness, endemism and conservation status coupled with the fact that several Aegla species are endangered, it is imperative to accurately quantify the hidden diversity of aeglids.