The interstitial stygobiotic isopods of the genus Microcharon (Crustacea) are diversified in Morocco. A new species, M. ourikensis, is described. The new species shows some original characters for this genus: large size, strong elongation in the first male pleopod exopodal inner lobe, 5-dentate mandibular pars incisiva, and 5 spines on the last mandibular palp segment. The species is a member of the Ibero-Maghrebin messoulii group. It is an endemic representative of the Ourika valley groundwater in the Moroccan High Atlas. It derives from a littoral marine ancestor which could have colonized the continental subterranean water during Turonian or Senonian Tethyan regressions.

Taxonomy, biogeography, Crustacea, interstitial Isopoda, Microcharon, High Atlas, Morocco
Contributions to Zoology

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Naturalis journals & series

Yacoubi-Khebiza, M, Boulanouar, M, & Coineau, N. (1997). Un nouveau Microparasellidae (Crustacé Isopode) du Haut-Atlas; aspects phylogénétiques et biogéographiques. Contributions to Zoology, 66(4), 227–234.