Prehendocyclops boxshalli Rocha, 2000
Prehendocyclops boxshalli: after Rocha et al., 2000
Taxonomic Characterization: Characteristic of the genera
Prehendocyclops is an antennal prehensile device formed by a stout curved
spine on the third segment, and the three proximalmost appendages of the
terminal segment modified into stout, heavily serrate spines; the distalmost
spine of these is claw-shaped. Additionally, on the praecoxal arthrite of the
maxillule the two outermost apical spines are curved towards a strong, straight,
pointed spine inserted on the inner surface of the arthrite. P. boxshalli
differs from other species of Prehendocyclops in that the dorsal setae is
1/2 of the length of the outer middle apical seta. Other differences include
number of integumental sensilla on the first urosomal somite, and the genital
double somite in both sexes, shape and size of elements composing the prehensile
device of the antenna; armament of labrum and mandible, ornamentation of some
setae on the maxillular endopod; and in the structure of leg 5 in both sexes
(Rocha et al., 2000).
Disposition of Specimens: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, catalog numbers USNM 287097-9, and Museu de Zoologia of the University of Sao Paula, catalog number MZUSP 13061.
Ecological Classification: Stygobitic
Size: Female body length, excluding caudal setae, measures between 0.515-0.610 mm. Adult male length, excluding caudal setae, measures 0.5 mm.
Number of Species in Genus: Three
Species Range: Known only from Grutas de Santa Maria, Homun; Grutas de
Tzab-Nah, Tecoh; Cenote Kambul, Noc Ac, in the State of Yucatan, Mexico.
Closest Related Species: P. monchenkoi
Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves
Ecology: Found free-swimming and at the sandy bottom of cave pools at depths of 0-15 m. Prehendocyclops has modified mouthparts and antenna like its sister genera Colpocyclops and Smirnoviella, which enable the genera to externally parasitize a host. Thus, Rocha et al. assumed that Prehendocyclops is probably also parasitic, although the possible host is unknown.
Life History: Not known. Only three females and one male have been collected.
Evolutionary Origins: Prehendocyclops and sister genera Smirnoviella and Colpocyclops, which evolved in estuaries connected to the Caspian and Black Sea, were linked in the past as part of the Tethys Sea. Considering that the three genera have similar mouthparts and antenna, they are probably derived from one or more ectoparasitic Halicyclops-like ancestral forms (Rocha et al., 2000).
Conservation Status: Restricted to three caves in the Yucatan Peninsula
Contributor: Carlos Eduardo F. da Rocha, Universidade de São Paulo,
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