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Three new genera of the Ridgewayiidae (Copepoda, Calanoida) from anchialine caves in the Bahamas

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Stargatia palmeri gen. et sp. nov. was obtained in great numbers in plankton from very low dissolved oxygen waters of Stargate Blue Hole, South Andros at 44 m depth. The species shows similarities to Exumellina bucculenta Fosshagen in the modifications of the endopod of both mandible and maxillule, and by the presence of only two outer spines on the third exopod segment of legs 3 and 4. The rostrum comprises two rounded lobes without filaments. The right antennule of the male is modified in proximal part with extra geniculations. It differs from other ridgewayiids by not having the typical offset third exopod segment in the female leg 5. Robpalmeria asymmetrica gen. et sp. nov. was also recorded from Stargate Blue Hole. In the female the last somite of the prosome is asymmetrical. The rostrum is narrow with two filaments at the tip. The maxilliped is strongly developed, reflexed and with a condensed endopod bearing several modified setae; suggesting raptorial feeding. Leg 5 in the male has complex exopods and rudimentary endopods. Normancavia minuta gen. et sp. nov. was obtained from Norman's Pond Cave, Exumas. It is reminiscent of R. asymmetrica but differs much in leg 5 of both sexes. It is the only ridgewayiid lacking an endopod of leg 5 in the female. Leg 5 in the male bears elongated endopods with distal setal elements. All three genera, most conspicuous in Stargatia, have a proximal geniculation in the right antennule of the male.

Keywords: Bahamas; Calanoida; Ridgewayiidae; anchialine caves; taxonomy

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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