The genus Macrobrachium Bate, 1868 is one of the best examples of widespread crustacean genera distributed globally throughout tropical and subtropical waters. Previous investigators have noted the systematic complexity of the group, and have suggested rearrangements within the family Palaemonidae. Our phylogenetic analysis of new mitochondrial DNA sequences of 58 species of Macrobrachium distributed mainly in America support the hypothesis of monophyly of this genus, if Cryphiops Dana, 1852 is accepted as a generic synonym. We concluded that the independent evolution of different types of life cycle (abbreviated larval development – ALD and extended larval development – ELD) must have occurred more than once in the history of the group. Similarly, we also concluded that the current type species of the genus, Macrobrachium americanum Bate, 1868, should not be considered valid, as previously proposed. The synonymy of two members of the ‘olfersi’ species complex (M. birai Lobão, Melo & Fernandes, 1986 and M. holthuisi Genofre & Lobão, 1978) with M. olfersi (Wiegmann, 1836) was confirmed. Similar results were found in comparing M. petronioi Melo, Lobão & Fernandes, 1986 and M. potiuna (Müller, 1880), in which the genetic divergence placed M. petronioi within the level of intraspecific variation of M. potiuna. The taxonomic status of the genus Cryphiops, as well as theories on the origin of Macrobrachium, is also called into question.
We present the first global assessment of extinction risk for a major group of freshwater invertebrates, caridean shrimps. The risk of extinction for all 763 species was assessed using the IUCN Red List criteria that include geographic ranges, habitats, ecology and past and present threats. The Indo-Malayan region holds over half of global species diversity, with a peak in Indo-China and southern China. Shrimps primarily inhabit flowing water; however, a significant subterranean component is present, which is more threatened than the surface fauna. Two species are extinct with a further 10 possibly extinct, and almost one third of species are either threatened or Near Threatened (NT). Threats to freshwater shrimps include agricultural and urban pollution impact over two-thirds of threatened and NT species. Invasive species and climate change have the greatest overall impact of all threats (based on combined timing, scope and severity of threats).
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