An integrative re-evaluation of Typhlatya shrimp within the karst aquifer of the Yucatn Peninsula, Mexico. Academic Article uri icon


  • The Yucatn 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 Yucatn 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 Yucatn+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.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

altmetric score

  • 2

author list (cited authors)

  • Ballou, L., Brankovits, D., Chvez-Sols, E. M., Chvez Daz, J. M., Gonzalez, B. C., Rohret, S., ... Borda, E.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Ballou, Lauren||Brankovits, David||Chávez-Solís, Efraín M||Chávez Díaz, José M||Gonzalez, Brett C||Rohret, Shari||Salinas, Alexa||Liu, Arielle||Simões, Nuno||Álvarez, Fernando||Miglietta, Maria Pia||Iliffe, Thomas M||Borda, Elizabeth

publication date

  • January 2022