Data from: Morphological and taxonomic demarcation of Brachionus asplanchnoidis Charin within the Brachionus plicatilis cryptic species complex (Rotifera, Monogononta)
Michaloudi, Evangelia et al. (2017), Data from: Morphological and taxonomic demarcation of Brachionus asplanchnoidis Charin within the Brachionus plicatilis cryptic species complex (Rotifera, Monogononta), Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.2kg70
Three well-defined groups, consisting of 15 species, have recently been ascribed to organisms historically identified as the Brachionus plicatilis species complex. One of these groups, the Large-clade is composed of two named species (Brachionus plicatilis s.s. and Brachionus manjavacas) and two species identifiers (B. 'Nevada' and B. 'Austria'). B. 'Austria' has been confirmed to be B. asplanchnoidis. As no type specimen exists for this species, and the original taxonomic description is lacking in detail, we give a detailed account of this species using material from Obere Halbjochlacke in Austria where B. 'Austria' was first identified genetically. Our analysis of B. asplanchnoidis populations were of global scope; an approach that revealed a great degree of morphological variability. However, combining aspects of both the dorsal and ventral surfaces clearly discriminated B. asplanchnoidis from the rest of the Large type members. This approach may prove useful in taxonomic studies of other cryptic species with relatively few morphological features. We also observed a geographic pattern of genetic divergence within B. asplanchnoidis. Average uncorrected COI divergences for a 554-bp fragment of the COI gene ranged from 3.9% within species to 17.5% between species of the Large-clade, and indicate deep divisions within the cryptic species complex.