Calcrete aquifers from the Yilgarn region of arid central Western Australia contain an assemblage of obligate groundwater invertebrate species that are each endemic to single aquifers. Fine-scale phylogeographic and population genetic analyses of three sympatric and independently derived species of amphipod (Chiltoniidae) were carried out to determine whether there were common patterns of population genetic structure or evidence for past geographic isolation of populations within a single calcrete aquifer. Genetic diversity in amphipod mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene) and allozymes were examined across a 3.5 km 2 region of the Sturt Meadows calcrete, which contains a grid of 115 bore holes (=wells). Stygobiont amphipods were found to have high levels of mitochondrial haplotype diversity coupled with low nucleotide diversity. Mitochondrial phylogeographic structuring was found between haplogroups for one of the chiltoniid species, which also showed population structuring for nuclear markers. Signatures of population expansion in two of the three species, match previous findings for diving beetles at the same site, indicating that the system is dynamic. We propose isolation of populations in refugia within the calcrete, followed by expansion events, as the most likely source of intraspecific genetic diversity, due to changes in water level influencing gene flow across the calcrete. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.