The genus Bennelongia De Deckker & McKenzie, 1981 is most likely endemic to Australia and New Zealand and, up to now, only two described species in this genus had been reported from Western Australia. Extensive sampling in Western Australia revealed a much higher specific diversity. Here, we describe nine new species in three lineages, within the genus Bennelongia: B. cygnus sp. nov. and B. frumenta sp. nov. in the B. cygnus lineage, B. gwelupensis sp. nov., B. coondinerensis sp. nov., B. cuensis sp. nov., B. lata sp. nov. and B. bidgelangensis sp. nov. in the B. australis lineage, and B. strellyensis sp. nov. and B. kimberleyensis sp. nov. (from the Pilbara and Kimberley regions respectively) in the B. pinpi-lineage. For six of the nine species, we were also able to construct molecular phylogenies and to test for cryptic diversity with two different methods based on the evolutionary genetic species concept, namely Birky’s 4 x rule and the GYMC model. These analyses support the specific nature of at least four of the five new species in the B. australis lineage and of the two new species in the B. pinpi lineage. We also describe Bennelongiinae n.subfam. to accommodate the genus. With the nine new species described here, the genus Bennelongia now comprises 15 species, but several more await formal description.
Evolution, Ostracoda, cryptic species, biodiversity, Western Australia.