Variations in afrolaophonte pori masry, 1970 (copepoda: harpacticoida: laophontidae): a contribution towards the revision of the genus
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Afrolaophonte pori was originally described from the interstitial habitats of Israel and subsequently reported from Italy and the Aegean coasts of Turkey. It is the only representative of the genus in the Mediterranean Sea. The aim of this study is to present a detailed redescription of A. pori based on extensive material from different parts of the species' range to provide geographic distributional data and to reveal variations within and between the populations. We have examined numerous specimens collected from the Aegean and Mediterranean Turkish coasts and have presented a detailed redescription of both sexes. Despite the fact that the original description of A. pori does not meet modern standards, the present redescription of A. pori matches well with the original description in terms of setal and segmental pattern, except for the setation of the P1 exopods. Many populations collected from along the Aegean shores also had 2-segmented exopods, but the discovery along the Mediterranean coast of some specimens having 2-segmented exopods and 1-segmented endopods, as well as observation of asymmetric P3 rami on some specimens, directed us to conclude that all populations of Afrolaophonte in the Mediterranean Basin belong to the same morphospecies sharing the same gene pool.