Stygiomysis clarkei Bowman, Iliffe, & Yager, 1984
Taxonomic Characterization: The genus Stygiomysis includes blind, troglobitic mysidaceans characterized by a rather vermiform bodies, a reduced carapace, endopods of thoracopods 2-4 ( = pereopods 1-3) prehensile, and protopod of uropod produced into a long distomedial process (Bowman, Iliffe, and Yager, 1984). S. clarkei can be distinguished from other Stygiomysis by the following characteristics:
- The telson is wider than long.
- The rami of the uropods are shorter in relation to their length.
- The ratios of widths to lengths of the endopod (2.0) and exopod (1.7) are smaller than other species, but the same as Pesce's Stygiomysis sp. (Bowman, Iliffe, and Yager, 1984).
- The scale on antennae 2 is oval in shape.
- The telson has three short spines on either side of the central group of three spines.
Ecological Classification: Stygobitic
Size: Females are 4.8-6.2 mm long.
Number of Species in Genus: Six described species, all anchialine stygobitic
- Anguilla: S. holthuisi (Gordon, 1958)
- Salt Well and the Fountain, reported in Botosaneanu, 1980
- Lucayan Caverns, reported Bowman, Iliffe, and Yager, 1984
- Caicos Islands:
- Middle Caicos Island: S. clarkei Bowman, Iliffe, & Yager, 1984
- Conch Bar Cave, reported in Bowman, Iliffe, and Yager, 1984
- Providenciales Island: S. clarkei Bowman, Iliffe, & Yager, 1984
- Snake Cave, reported in Bowman, Iliffe, and Yager, 1984
- Dominican Republic: S. aemete Wagner 1992
- Well about 5 km east of the Haitian border in the Pedernales Province
- Southern Italy: S. hydruntina Caroli, 1937
- Buco dei Diavoli, L'Abisso, reported in Caroli, 1937
- Jamaica: S. major Bowman, 1976
- Yucatan Peninsula: S. cokei Kallmeyer & Carpenter, 1996
and S. holthuisi (Gordon, 1958)
- Temple of Doom, Mayan Blue, Carwash and Naharon Caves, reported in Kallmeyer & Carpenter, 1996
for S. cokei; Cenote Pabakal, Cenote San
Eduardo, Cenote Kankirixche, and Cenote Dzonot-ila in Yucatan, and Actun Ko
in Quintana Roo, reported in Pesce & Iliffe, 2002.
- Mayan Blue and Casa Cenote
in Quintana Roo and Cenote Mucuyché in Yucatan, reported in Pesce & Iliffe,
for S. holthuisi
- Puerto Rico: S. holthuisi (Gordon, 1958)
- Cueva de los Murcelagos, Guanica Fores (Bowman, 1976)
- St. Martin: S. holthuisi (Gordon, 1958)
- Devil's Hole, reported in Gordon, 1960
- United States:
- Florida: S. sp. Bowman, in litt.
Species Range: Conch Bar Cave, Middle Caicos Island, and Snake Cave, Providenciales Island, both on Caicos Bank, Turks and Caicos Islands.
Closest Related Species: Stygiomysis sp. Pesce, 1975 which was collected from a freshwater well in Southern Italy
Habitat: Shallow anchialine pools within inland caves
Ecology: Found free-swimming in brackish water (23 g/l) at a depth between 5 cm to 8 m. At Conch Bar Cave, the collection site contained a significant amount of detritus consisting of leaves, twigs and land snail shells.
Evolutionary Origins: According to Pesce (Groundwater Mysids of Italy), "The remarkable distribution of Stygiomysis undoubtedly points to a Tethyan origin, all the species of this genus being actually known from the Caribbean area and South Italy."
Conservation Status: Restricted to two caves on separate islands within the Caicos bank
- Bowman, T.E. 1986. Mysidacea. In: Lazare Botosaneanu, editor, Stygofauna Mundi: A Faunistic, Distributional, and Ecological Synthesis of the World Fauna inhabiting Subterranean Waters. Pages 405-409. Leiden: E.J. Brill/Dr. W. Backhuys.
- Bowman, T.E., T.M. Iliffe, and J. Yager. 1984. New records of the troglobitic mysid genus Stygiomysis: S. clarkei, new species, from the Caicos Islands, and S. holthuisi (Gordon) from Grand Bahama Island (Crustacea: Mysidacea). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 97(3):637-644, 4 figures.
Contributor: Giuseppe L. Pesce, University of L'Aquila, Italy