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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Malacostraca
Order Cumacea
Family Nannastacidae

Cumella (Cumella) andri Petrescu & Iliffe, 1992


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Taxonomic Characterization: Slightly hairy integument. The carapace is more than 1/3 of the body. A pair of prominences at the basis of the optic lobe. Optic lobe with long marginal setae and five lenses, two of them pigmented. Exopodite is a little shorter than endopodite, both of them with long apical spines (Petrescu & Iliffe, 1992).

Disposition of Specimens: Grigore Antipa, Natural History Museum, collection number 744, inventory number 49,484.

Ecological Classification: Probably stygophilic

Size: Total length approximately 2.25 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: More than 60 species are included in the genus Cumella, the subgenus Cumella is the most numerous (about 40). None are known to be stygobitic.

Subgenus Cumella Range:

  • Bahamas:
    • Abaco Island Blue Hole: C. abacoensis Petrescu, 1996
    • North Andros Island Blue Holes: C. andri Petrescu & Iliffe, 1992; C. radui Petrescu & Iliffe, 1992; C. bahamensis Petrescu & Iliffe, 1992
  • Caribbean: C. antipai Petrescu, Iliffe, & Sarbu, 1994; C. coralicola Bacescu, 1971; C. gomoiui Bacescu & Muradian, 1977; C. amaicensis Petrescu, Iliffe, & Sarbu, 1994; C. longicaudata Petrescu, Iliffe, & Sarbu, 1994
  • Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, Australia: C. arguta Gamo, 1962; C. cana Hale, 1945; C. gibba Zimmer, 1914; C. laevis Calman, 1911
  • Mediterranean, Black Sea: C. pygmaea Sars, 1865; C. pygmaea euxinica Bacescu, 1950
  • Deep Atlantic: C. concinna Jones, 1984; C. decipiens Jones, 1984; C. meridionalis Jones, 1984

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: C. andri resembles C. tripunctata Bacescu, 1971.

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 and 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 stygophiles if not stygobites. 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).

Life History: One adult female (holotype) has been collected.

Evolutionary Origins: Probably originated from an open water ancestor.

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

References:

  • Bacescu, M. 1971. New Cumacea from the littoral waters of Florida (Caribbean Sea). Travaux du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle Grigore Antipa, 11:5-24.
  • 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. 1996. Cumaceans (Crustacea: Cumacea) from Abaco Islands (Bahamas). Travaux du Museum d'Histoire Naturelle Grigore Antipa, 36:157-183, 14 figures.
  • Petrescu, I. and T.M. Iliffe. 1992. Contributions to the knowledge of the cumacean species (Crustacea, Cumacea) of British Blue Holes (Andros Island, Bahamas Islands). Travaux du Museum d'Historie 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.

Links:

  • 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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