Mayaweckelia yucatanensis Holsinger, 1977
Taxonomic Characterization: A small stygobitic amphipod distinguished from M. cenoticola by shorter antenna 1 which is only 50% as long as body, proportionally shorter and broader gnathopodal propods, smaller and more shallow coxal plate of pereopod 4, more narrow bases of pereopods 5-7, fewer spines on uropods and shorter telson with fewer spines (Holsinger, 1977).
Disposition of Specimen: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, catalog numbers USNM 151180; Museum of Texas Tech University; and the private collection of John Holsinger.
Ecological Classification: Stygobitic
Size: Adult males are up to 2.5 mm in length, while largest adult females are 3.0 mm
Number of Species in Genus: Two, both stygobitic.
Species Range: Known only from Grutas de Xtacumbilxunam,
Closest Related Species: Mayaweckelia yucatanensis closely resembles M. cenoticola, widespread throughout the Yucatan Peninsula.
Habitat: Freshwater limestone cave
Ecology: Collected from a pool with bat guano on the bottom and inhabited by large numbers of ostracods and shrimp (Holsinger, 1977).
Life History: Not known
Evolutionary Origins: Mayaweckelia is related to both Mexiweckelia and Hadzia but differs from these genera in several important ways. It has taxonomic affinities with marine forms and inhabits a cave situated between the Pliocene and Pleistocene shorelines of Yucatan. Holsinger (1977, 1990) concluded from this that Mayaweckelia originated from a marine ancestor by "stranding" in newly developing freshwater habitats following the regression of sea water during the late Tertiary or early Quaternary times.
Conservation Status: Know only from a single cave in the state of Campeche, Mexico.
Contributor: John Holsinger, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA
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