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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Copepoda
Order Harpacticoida
Family Laophontidae

Paralaophonte echinata Fiers, 1986

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Paralaophonte echinata: after Fiers, 1986

Taxonomic Characterization: Paralaophonte echinata is characterized by a long furcal rami, the exopodite of the fifth leg is round, the shape of the endopodal segments, the male has a strongly dimorphic third leg, and the female has a six-segmented antennule.

Dispostion of Specimens: University of Amsterdam, catalog numbers WIAE 25a, 25b, 26.

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Adult female holotype length is 0.52 mm and adult male length 0.42 mm; both measured from the tip of the rostrum to the posterior margin of the furcal rami.

Number of Species in Genus: Numerous

Genus Range within the West Indies:

  • Bahamas:
    • Bimini Islands: P. brevirostris (Claus) and P. zimmeri Van Douwe
    • San Salvador: P. echinata Fiers, 1986
  • Barbados: P. brevirostris F. Willey
  • Jamaica:
    • Kingston Harbor: P. brevirostris F. Willey
    • Montego Bay: P. congenera (Sars)
  • Venezuela:
    • Tortuga Island: P. echinata Fiers, 1986

Species Range: Known only from Dixon Hill Lighthouse Cave, San Salvador Island, Bahamas and Tortuga Island, Venezuela.

Closest Related Species: Paralaophonte problematica and possibly to Paralaophonte gracilipes.

Habitat: Anchialine limestone cave

Ecology: Fully marine salinity waters. Benthic. Found in loamy substrate and a coarse sandy substrate 50 cm above the waterline.

Life History: Only 2 females and 1 male have been identified.

Conservation Status: Restricted to the lower West Indies


  • Fiers, F. 1986. Harpacticoid copepods from the West Indies Islands: Laophontidae (Copepoda, Harpacticoida). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde, 56(1):132-164, 18 figures, 8 tables.


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