Peral Mnisi and Susan M. Dippenaar

Abstract

Ephemeral pools are biologically important habitats for species adapted to survive through a dry phase. Unfortunately, these pools have been neglected in studies. Copepods are essential in aquatic habitats mainly because of their importance in the food web. Currently there are only 34 species reported from freshwater habitats in South Africa. This study was conducted in an ephemeral pool (Limpopo Province, South Africa). Qualitative sampling was done monthly (December 2014 to June 2015) using a plankton net and specimens were studied through a light microscope. Seven species were collected, three from Calanoida and four from Cyclopoida, including a new species, Microcyclops raynerae. Seven species represent quite a high biodiversity of copepods from a single pool when compared with similar studies previously done in South Africa. The report of Tropocyclops confinis constitutes a new geographical record from South Africa while all other collected species are new records from the Limpopo Province.