Bahadzia williamsi Holsinger, 1985
Taxonomic Characterization: Amphipod lacking eyes and pigment. B.
williamsi can be distinguished from other Bahadzia by the following
A key to the genus is presented in Jaume & Wagner, 1998.
Bahadzia williamsi from Holsinger, 1985
Disposition of Specimens: National Museum of Natural History,
Smithsonian Institution; Zo÷logisch Museum Amsterdam; San Diego Natural History
Museum, California; and in the private collection of John Holsinger.
Ecological Classification: Stygobitic
Size: Females range from 5.5 to 8.5 mm in length, but rarely exceed 7.0 mm. Males do not exceed 6.0 mm.
Number of Species in Genus: Nine (8 anchialine and 1 freshwater), all stygobitic
Genus range for Bahadzia
Species Range: Known only from Dan's Cave, Great Abaco Island; Asgard
Cave, Sweetings Cay; Bahama Cement Cave and Lucayan Caverns, Grand Bahama Island
- all located on the Little Bahama Bank.
Closest Related Species: B. obliqua. The genus Bahadzia is restricted to the West Indies and Mexico. All species are closely related, and it is unclear if they are distinct species or are subspecies (Stock, 1986). The only freshwater species, B. latipalpus, has the most distinct morphology, while the anchialine species more closely resemble each other.
Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves
Ecology: Free-swimming at a depth of 10 to 16 m in polyhaline waters (18 ppt) below the halocline. The oxygen concentration at this depth is very low, less than 1 ppm.
Life History: Several females were observed having setose brood plates. One was ovigerous. The brood pouch contained one large egg, but three detached eggs were found in the collection bottle. Amphipods do not have larvae or resting stages. These attributes affect their dispersal capacities and thus, contribute to their endemism.
Evolutionary Origins: The genus Bahadzia is phylogenetically allied with Mayaweckelia and Tuluweckelia. "It may be an ancient relict derived from an early hadziid fauna in the old Tethyan seaway" (Holsinger et al., 1986).
Conservation Status: Restricted to the Little Bahama Bank.
Contributor: John R. Holsinger, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
|Please email us your comments and questions.||Last modified:|