PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS ON TERRESTRIAL ISOPODS (PERACARIDA, ISOPODA) IN THE TRANSITIONAL COASTAL DESERT OF CHILE (24-29 degrees S)
- The terrestrial isopods of Chile make a group on which until now only a few studies have been done, most of which based mainly on species records in isolated zones. The aim of the present study was to make an attempt at characterization of the isopods present in three coastal protected areas in the Atacama Desert and northern-central Chile, and compare the results with literature records for northern and central Chile. The collected specimens belong to the genus Benthanoides (Oniscoidea, Philosciidae), probably to the species Benthanoides pauper that was originally described for central Chile. The obtained results would not agree with literature records that described the presence of two species of the genus Tylos (Oniscoidea, Tylidae) between 26-29 degrees S, and it would be the first isopod genus recorded north of 26 degrees S (Paposo priority site, Antofagasta Region). More systematic and ecological studies would be necessary for understanding the geographical distribution of Chilean terrestrial isopods.