Tardigrada of Arkansas and Louisiana

MEYER, H.A.: Tardigrada of Arkansas and Louisiana

Outside of the states of Texas and Alabama, the distribution of limnoterrestrial tardigrades in the American Deep South is poorly known. There are no published records from the states of Louisiana and Mississippi, while in Arkansas only one species has been reported. As part of a long-term study of tardigrade distribution and ecology in the region, I began sampling for Louisiana and Arkansas tardigrades in the spring of 2000. In Louisiana, I sampled mosses and lichens from two sites in Calcasieu Parish and one in Natchitoches Parish. No tardigrades were found in ground mosses (Sphagnum sp.). From mosses and lichens on trees I identified seven species of tardigrade, belonging to four genera. No sample contained more than two species of tardigrade. Mosses and lichens obtained from trees and rocks in the Ouachita and Ozark Mountain regions of western Arkansas contained fifteen species of tardigrade. The number of species per sample ranged from one to six.

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