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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Malacostraca
Order Cumacea
Family Nannastacidae

Cumella (Cumewingia) anae Petrescu & Iliffe, 1992

Taxonomic Characterization:
A small cumacean with a hairy integument. The carapace is 0.35 times the total body length. The ocelli crown consists of 7 lenses. The notch is distinct. Pereopod II has a relatively short dactyl. The uropods are hairy, scaled, short, and have a thick peduncle, which is shorter than the pleotelson. The endopodite/exopodite ratio is 2.06/1. C. (Cumewingia) anae can be distinguished from other Cumella (Cumewingia) by the following characteristics:

  • Medio-dorsal scaly ridge on pereon and scaly ridge on uropodal peduncle.
  • Number and disposition of spines on pereopods.
  • Uropodal endopodite much longer than exopodite (2 times).
  • Uropodal peduncle and endopodite with setules, not setae or spines.
  • Straight uropodal endopodite, not curved like in C. (C.) clavicauda Calman, 1911, C. (C.) siankaana Donath, 1992 and C. (C.) vicina Zimmer, 1944.
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Disposition of Specimens: Grigore Antipa, Natural History Museum, collection number 750, inventory number 49,481.

Ecological Classification: Probably stygophilic

Size: The male holotype's length was 1.61 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: More than 60 species are included in the genus Cumella, while the subgenus Cumewingia contains about 20 species. None are known to be stygobitic.

Subgenus Range:

  • Australia: C. (C.) turgidula Hale, 1945
  • Bahamas:
    • North Andros Island Blue Holes:
  • Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia: C. (C.) hispida Hale, 1945; C. (C.) indosinica Zimmer, 1952
  • Japan: C. (C.) alveata Gamo, 1964, C. (C.) glaberata Gamo, 1962
  • Mediterranean, Black Sea: C. (C.) limicola Sars, 1879
  • Red Sea: C. (C.) schieckei Bacescu & Muradian, 1975; C. (C.) forficuloides Bacescu & Muradian, 1975 and C. (C.) limicoloides Bacescu & Muradian, 1975
  • Thailand: C. (C.) forficula Calman, 1911, C. (C.) siamensis Zimmer, 1952
  • Tropical Western Atlantic: C. (C.) caribbeana Bacescu, 1971; C. (C.) clavicauda Calman, 1911; C. (C.) leptopus Calman, 1911, C. (C.) serrata Calman, 1911; C. (C.) siankaana Donath, 1992; C. (C.) vicina Zimmer, 1944

Species Range: Rat Cay Blue Hole, Rat Cay, or Bluehole Cay Blue Hole (Forfar Blue Hole), Stafford Creek, both on North Andros Island, Great Bahama Bank, Bahamas. Samples collected from these two caves were combined so the specific collection location is not known.

Closest Related Species: Species with short uropodal peduncle from the Western Atlantic (C. (C.) angelae Petrescu & Iliffe, 1992 and C. (C.) radui Petrescu & Iliffe, 1992) and from the Red Sea (C. (C.) forficuloides Bacescu & Muradian, 1975 and C. (C.) schieckei Bacescu & Muradian, 1975)

Habitat: Marine limestone caves (ocean Blue Holes)

Ecology: Specimens were collected using a 0.3 mm mesh plankton net with a mouth diameter of 0.45 m set in the approximately 0.25 m/sec suck or blow currents at the mouth of Rat Cay and Bluehole Cay caves on Andros Island. Tidal inequalities across the broad, shallow water Bahama banks generate strong reversing currents through the caves with a period 2 to 3 hours out of phase with tides in the surrounding sea (Warner & Moore, 1984). While the inward or 'suck' currents draw slightly turbid seawater with normal temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen levels into the caves, the outward flowing or 'blow' water is clearer, slightly cooler and may contain hydrogen sulfide.
Cumaceans were most abundant in the blow waters emanating from the Blue Holes. A total of 65 specimens were obtained in three blow plankton samples, while only 3 specimens were found in two suck samples. This indicates that these cumaceans are originating from the cave itself and are at least troglophiles if not troglobites. Blow samples in general were characterized by comparatively greater amounts of sand, crustacean exuvia, ostracod valves, fecal pellets, hydroid pieces, foraminiferans, small gastropods, ostracods, harpacticoid copepods, amphipods and isopods. Conversely, suck samples contained relatively more algal fragments and filaments, planktonic copepods and crustacean larvae (Warner & Moore, 1984).

Evolutionary Origins: Probably originated from an open water ancestor.

Conservation Status: Restricted to Rat Cay or Bluehole Cay Blue Holes, North Andros Island, Bahamas


  • Bacescu, M. 1971. New Cumacea from the littoral waters of Florida (Caribbean Sea). Travaux du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle Grigore Antipa, 11:5-24.
  • Bacescu, M. and Z. Muradian. 1975. New Cumacea from the Red Sea. Travaux du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle Grigore Antipa, 16:35-70.
  • Calman, W.T. 1911. On new or rare crustacea of the order Cumacea from the collection of the Copenhagen Museum. Part II. The families Nannastacidae and Diastylidae. Trans. zool. Soc. Land, 18:341-400.
  • Petrescu, I. and T.M. Iliffe. 1992. Contributions to the knowledge of the cumaceans species (Crustacea, Cumacea) of British Blue Holes (Andros Island, Bahamas Islands). Travaux du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle Grigore Antipa, 32:283-301, 10 figures.
  • Warner, G.F. and C.A.M. Moore. 1984. Ecological studies in the marine Blue Holes of Andros Island, Bahamas. Cave Science, 11(1):30-44.


  • The Cumacean Page contains information on systematics, ecology, and biogeography of the cumaceans of the World. It is one part of a PEET project (Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy) funded by the Systematic Biology Program of the United States National Science Foundation.

Contributor: Iorgu Petrescu, Grigore Antipa Museum of Natural History, Bucharest, Romania

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