Spelaeonicippe provo Stock & Vermeulen, 1982
Taxonomic Characterization: Amphipod with unpigmented eyes and body (intestine pink).
Urosomites 2 and 3 with 1 or 2 minute dorsal setules; dorsum otherwise smooth.
Coxal plates low. Lateral head lobes inconspicuous, rounded, no rostrum.
Epimeral plates with rounded posterior corners. Outer ramus of
the third uropod is two-segmented; second segment is very small.
Disposition of Specimens: Zo÷logisch Museum Amsterdam collection number ZMA Amphipod 107.495.
Ecological Classification: Stygobitic
Size: Adults range from 3-4 mm.
Number of Species in Genus: Two, both stygobitic.
Species Range: Known from an unnamed water hole on Providenciales,
Caicos Islands (Stock & Vermeulen, 1982) and from Oven Rock Cave, Great Guana
Cay, Exuma Cays, Bahamas (van der Ham, 2002).
Closest Related Species: S. buchi (Andres, 1975), previously Nicippe buchi from Lanzarote.
Habitat: Anchialine cave.
Ecology: Found in a saline, semi-dark, fissure in calcareous rocks with direct contact with the underlying water table. S. provo is pelagic species but spends much of the time on the gravel bottom of the cave. Accompanying fauna consisted only of several species of gastropods, both aquatic and terrestrial.
Evolutionary Origins: The genus Spelaeonicippe is phylogenetically allied with the sublittoral open sea genus Nicippe. Spelaeonicippe were separated from their shallow-water marine ancestors during low sea level stages of the Pleistocene.
Conservation Status: Known from two anchialine caves in the Caicos Islands and Exuma Cays.
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