Platyops sterreri Bacescu & Iliffe, 1986
Platyops sterreri: eye in lateral view, after Bacescu & Iliffe, 1986
Taxonomic Characterization: Platyops sterreri is a small mysid with rectangular eyes, seen from above, strongly dorso-ventally flattened with corneal side tiny in a lateral external position. The eyes are distinctive due to their white, vaguely rectangular plates that circumscribe a tiny visual, antero-lateral, shiny brown part; the cornea is oval in lateral view and the peduncle is anteriorly strongly flattened chisel-like. The frontal side of the carapace of the female has 2 laterally pointed apophyses and a weak triangular prolongation between the eyes. The 1st antenna has a longer peduncle than the 2nd antenna. The labrum is obtuse triangular. Pereiopod I is short with a 3-jointed tarsus, pereiopod II is very long with a 6-segmented tarsus and pereiopods III-V are like pereiopod I except with a 5-segmented tarsus. The pleopods are tiny and 1-segmented. The uropods have branches equal in length with the endopodite lacking spines and the statolith being small and spherical. The telson is somewhat triangular with fine pointed spines on the distal quarter (Bacescu & Iliffe, 1986).
Ecological Classification: Stygobitic
Size: Total body length of females ranges from 2-3 mm.
Number of Species in Genus: One
Species Range: Known only from Castle Grotto and Green Bay Caves, Bermuda (Bacescu & Iliffe, 1986).
Closest Related Species: Platyops is convergent in eye structure with the genus Heteromysoides from the Canary Islands.
Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves
Ecology: P. sterreri was collected in Green Bay Cave from bottom silt at 15 m using a fine mesh hand net and in Castle Grotto from bottom silt of the rear portion of the main pool with the aid of a suction bottle at 0.5-1 m depths (Bacescu & Iliffe, 1986).
Life History: Collected specimens included 5 females, 3 of which had 2 embryos.
Conservation Status: P. sterreri is listed as critically endangered (IUCN, 2000). The species is restricted to two anchialine caves in Bermuda.
- Bacescu, M. and T.M. Iliffe. 1986. Bermudamysis g. n., Platyops g. n. and other mysids from Bermudian caves. Stygologia, 2(1/2): 93-104.
- IUCN, 2000. The 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Gland, IUCN, 61 pages.