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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Order Isopoda
Suborder Flabellifera
Family Cirolanidae

Cirolana (Cirolana) troglexuma Botosaneanu & Iliffe, 1997

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Cirolana troglexuma

 

Taxonomic Characterization: A completely depigmented, anophthalmous cirolanid. It is devoid of coarse cuticular ornamentation and is unable to roll into a ball. Cephalon roughly semicircular, lateral margins depressed in their anterior half, also posterior margin depressed; no rostrum or rostral point is present. In contrast with all species in the subgenus Anopsilana, this species has rather well developed setation on the endopodites of pleopods III and IV, a unique situation for a stygobitic Cirolana.

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Adult females' length ranges from 7.5 to 10 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: Some 102 species, mostly marine intertidal or shallow water; only one species, Cirolana (C.) troglexuma, is stygobitic in the subgenus Cirolana.

Genus Range: Worldwide marine distribution.

  • Bahamas stygobitic species:
    • Exuma Cays:
      • Oven Rock Cave and Basil Minn's Blue Hole: Cirolana (C.) troglexuma Botosaneanu & Iliffe, 1997
    • Cat Island:
      • Big Fountain Blue Hole: Cirolana (C.) troglexuma Botosaneanu & Iliffe, 1997
 

Species Range: Originally described from Oven Rock Cave, Great Guana Cay, Exuma Cays, Great Bahama Bank, Bahamas. Later discovered from Basil Minn's Blue Hole on Great Exuma Island and from Big Fountain Blue Hole on Cat Island.

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Cirolana (C.) troglexuma: after Botosaneanu & Iliffe, 1997

Closest Related Species: C. troglexuma shares many traits with species from the subgenus Anopsilana. The subgenera are distinguished by the presence (in Cirolana) or absence (in Anopsilana) of setation on the endopodites of pleopods III and IV.

Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves

Ecology: They were free-swimming, at depths of 0-22 m in fully marine salinity water (35 g/l).

Life History: No females with oostegites have been found. The male of this species remains unknown.

Evolutionary Origins: C. troglexuma is closely related to species in the subgenus Anopsilana but is separated from them by the presence of well developed setation on the endopodites as mentioned above. It thus belongs to the predominantly marine subgenus Cirolana.

Conservation Status: Know from two anchialine caves in the Exuma Cays and one cave on Cat Island.

Reference:

  • Botosaneanu, L. and T.M. Iliffe. 1997. Four new stygobitic cirolanids (Crustacea: Isopoda) from the Caribbean – with remarks on intergeneric limits in some cirolanids. Bulletin de L'Institute Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Biologie, 67:77-94, 108 figures.

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Contributor: Lazare Botosaneanu, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands


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