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Chironomus alchichica sp. n. (Diptera: Chironomidae) from Lake Alchichica, Mexico



Morphological analysis of all developmental stages (except female), mitochondrial DNA sequences from cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1) and cytological analysis of the polytene chromosomes were used to describe a new species of Chironomus found in the littoral and profundal zones of an endorheic, warm-monomictic lake in Mexico. Male imago is distinguished by the shape of superior volsella and by an antennal and bristle ratio lower than two. The pupa is characterized by the spur morphology of abdominal segment VIII. There is also a continuous row of hooklets on abdominal segment II. The larva is distinguished by a combination of antenna, mentum, mandible, and pecten epipharyngis characteristics, and abdominal ventral tubules. Molecular and cytological analysis supported the morphological differences found. The maximum likelihood tree obtained shows that Chironomus alchichica sp. n. clusters together with Chironomus decorus-group sp. 2 Butler et al. (1995) (bootstrap support = 92%), but genetic p-distances within C. alchichica sp. n. (0.004) were lower than the p-distances between other species of the decorus-group (C. decorus-group sp. 2, Chironomus bifurcatus Wülker et al., 2009 and Chironomus maturus Johannsen, 1908) confirming that it is a different species. The new species belongs to thummi cytocomplex, (decorus-group), with chromosome set- 2n = 8 and chromosome arm combinations: AB CD EF G. Karyologically, the species is closest to Chironomus riihimaekiensis Wülker (1973). This species has very compact salivary gland chromosomes with well heterochromatinized centromere regions in chromosomes AB CD G. Several fixed homozygous inversions distinguish arm A of the species from that of C. riihimaekiensis. Arm E differs from that of C. riihimaekiensis by simple fixed homozygous inversion. Some similarities in band sequences of this arm were found with species from the decorus-group as Chironomus blaylocki Wülker et al., 2009 and C. bifurcatus (decorus-group). The position of the key constrictions in chromosome G: Nucleolar organizer (NOR) and Balbiani rings (BRs) is similar to the species of decorus-group. C. alchichica sp. n. has been found in soft sediments rich in organic matter in well mineralized waters (where conductivity >10 mS cm-1) and with a high pH (≥9). The profundal zone is inhabited only during the mixing period, when dissolved oxygen is present.



Diptera, taxonomy, midges, Cox1 mitochondrial sequences, polytene chromosomes, cytogenetic analysis, anoxia, ecological requirements

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