Freshwater microcrustaceans of Hispaniola: new records and potential as biological control agents


  • Carla Olmo
  • Juan Rueda
  • María Altagracia Rodríguez-Sosa
  • Mikel Alexander González
  • Pedro María Alarcón Elbal Instituto de Medicina Tropical & Salud Global, Universidad Iberoamericana


Some species of freshwater microcrustaceans have been widely used for biological control of mosquito larval populations. These zooplankton communities play an important role against some species of mosquitoes by exerting competitive pressure or predation. However, zooplankters are scarcely studied in many Caribbean islands such as Hispaniola. The goal of this study was to improve the knowledge of these microcrustaceans in order to better understand the biodiversity and ecology of this Antillean Island. Samples of zooplankton were taken from 28 ponds in the northern Dominican Republic during 2020. The total richness of microcrustaceans was 25 species, comprising 17 copepods and 8 cladocerans. Most of the collected species were previously described for the island, and some of them are registered as potential biological controllers of mosquito larvae populations. Five genera (including 6 species) of microcrustaceans that inhabit the ponds are recorded for the first time for Hispaniola: Simocephalus Schoedler, 1858; Pleuroxus Baird, 1853; Ilyocryptus G.O. Sars, 1861; Apocyclops Lindberg, 1942; and Diacyclops Kiefer, 1927. Here, we discuss these new findings in relation to the competitive and/or predatory potential of these species against mosquito larvae. The present study improves the knowledge of biodiversity in ponds in the Dominican Republic.






Research Paper