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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Subclass Ostracoda
Order Podocopida
Family Cytherellidae

Cytherella bermudensis Maddocks, 1986

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Cytherella bermudensis: right and left valve exteriors of female

Taxonomic Characterization: Cytherella bermudensis male has a compressed, ovate-subquadrate in lateral view, with slight ventral indentation. The female carapace is similar in outline, however proportionately higher. The inflated brood cavity is expressed externally as a distinct, vertically elongated, local swelling that does not reach to either the dorsal or ventral margin and is bounded posteriorly by the straight vertical ridge, which is slightly less distinct than in the male. A delicate micro-ornament of numerous, tiny pits outlines a lacy network of ridges bounding polygonal fossae; the floors of these fossae are also densely pitted. The male sixth limb has large, recurved, pediform palp. The hemipenis is about twice as long as high, with sinuous outline, tapering distally to a downward-pointing, bulbous projection; the copulatory tube is long, curved in J-shape (Maddocks & Iliffe, 1986).

Disposition of Specimens: All specimens were deposited in the United States Museum of Natural History: male holotype (USNM 216414) and paratypes (USNM numbers 216415-216417).

Ecological Classification: Either stygophilic or accidental

Size: Length of right valve of male 0.74 mm, female 0.81 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: At least 9

Species Range: Known from Palm and Green Bay Caves, in addition to Castle Harbour, North Lagoon, and the South Shore reefs in Bermuda (Maddocks & Iliffe, 1986).

Closest Related Species: Cytherella bermudensis is externally quite similar to C. kornickeri, with which it frequently occurs. However, it can be distinguished by its greater height to length ratio, the more inflated females, the pitted micro-ornament, oval spots, and soft-part characters. Also, C. pandora, a Bahamian species, has similar shape and micro-ornament, but only the females are said to have this micro-ornament. An undescribed species in the Florida Keys has similar micro-ornament but more elaborate posterior swelling and ridge. Another similar but undescribed species has been seen in collections from Belize (Maddocks & Iliffe, 1986).

Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves

Ecology: Specimens of C. bermudensis were collected with a fine mesh hand net from bottom silt near the base of the entrance slope in 9 m depth at Palm Cave and from fine bottom silt in 14 m depth in Green Bay Cave. Palm and Green Bay Caves are large, submerged cave systems on opposite sides of Harrington Sound. Both have significant tidal currents exchanging water with Harrington Sound.

Life History: Specimens collected included 1 male, 1 female, 4 juveniles, 6 empty valves, and 55 subfossil specimens.


  • Maddocks, R.F. and T.M. Iliffe. 1986. Podocopid Ostracoda of Bermudian caves. Stygologia, 2(1/2): 26-76, 18 figures.


Contributor: Dr. Rosalie F. Maddocks, University of Houston, Houston, Texas USA

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