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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Ostracoda
Order Halocyprida
Family Thaumatocyprididae

Danielopolina bahamensis Kornicker & Iliffe, 1989

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Danielopolina bahamensis: after Kornicker & Iliffe, 1989

Taxonomic Characterization: Carapace without surface spines. Each lamella of furca with 3 short fused claws. Each valve without a single posterodorsal process. Walls of surface reticulations formed by ridges. Second joint of first antenna without bristles (Kornicker and Iliffe, 1989).

Disposition of Specimens: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, catalog numbers USNM 193285-8.

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Adult female carapace is 0.41 mm; adult male is 0.43 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: Eleven (ten anchialine stygobitic, one deep sea)

Genus Range:

  • Bahamas:
    • Eleuthera: D. bahamensis Kornicker & Iliffe, 1989
    • Exuma Cays: D. exuma Kornicker & Iliffe, 1998; D. kakuki Kornicker & Iliffe, 2000; and D. species A Kornicker & Iliffe, 1998
  • Canary Islands: D. wilkensi Hartmann, 1985; and D. phalanx Kornicker & Iliffe, 1995
  • Cuba: D. orghidani (Danielopol, 1972)
  • Galapagos Islands:
    • Santa Cruz Island: D. styx Kornicker & Iliffe, 1989
  • Jamaica: D. elizabethae Kornicker & Iliffe, 1992
  • Mid-Atlantic: D. carolynae Kornicker & Sohn, 1976
  • Western Australia: D. kornickeri Danielopol, Baltanas & Humphreys, 2000
  • Yucatan, Mexico: D. mexicana Kornicker & Iliffe, 1989

Species Range: Known only from Hatchet Bay Cave, Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera Island, Bahamas.

Closest Related Species: D. bahamensis closely resembles D. wilkensi from the Canary Islands.

Habitat: Anchialine limestone cave

Ecology: Collected at depths of 0-3 m in waters with a salinity of 32 ppt. Additional fauna included an ostracod species Deeveya jillae, a calanoid copepod and a macellicephalan polynoid polychaete (perhaps a young Pelagomecellicephala iliffei). Brown unidentified particles were found within the gut.

Life History: Of the 13 specimens collected, they included 1 adult male (holotype), 2 adult females (paratypes) and 10 juveniles (sex unknown). Sexual dimorphism is found within the species. Males with a single copulatory organ having long curved anterior part with slender tip, and shorter styliform part with 3 hairs at tip. The genital pore is obscured on female. In addition, differences are present on the first and second antennae (Kornicker & Iliffe, 1989). There are 5 growth stages.

Evolutionary Origins: The family Thaumatocyprididae is composed of five genera. Two genera are known only from fossils, two inhabit the deep sea, and Danielopolina primarily inhabits anchialine environments. The evolutionary origins of stygobitic ostracodes remain undetermined. They may have originated from the deep sea (Iliffe 1990:95; 1991:227-228) or from shallow water crevices (Danielopol, 1990:141; Danielopol et al., 1996:82). These ostracodes may have been in shallow anchialine pools and then migrated to the more stable cave environment (Kornicker & Iliffe, 1998:2).

Conservation Status: Restricted to a single cave on Eleuthera.


  • Danielopol, D.L. 1972. Sur la presence de Thaumatocypris orghidani n. sp. (Ostracoda, Myodocopida) dans une grotte de Cuba. Compte Rendu Hebdomadaire des Sťances de l'Academie des Sciences (Paris), 274:1390-1393.
  • Danielopol, D.L. 1990. The origin of the anchialine cave fauna - the "deep sea" versus the "shallow water" hypothesis tested against the empirical evidence of the Thaumatocyprididae (Ostracoda). Bijdragen tot de Dierkunde, 60(3/4):137-143, figure 1.
  • Danielopol, D.L., A. Baltanas and W.F. Humphreys. 2000. Danielopolina kornickeri n.sp. (Ostracoda, Thaumatocyprididae) from a Western Australian anchialine cave: morphology and evolution. Zoologica Scripta, 29: 1-16.
  • Hartmann, G. 1985. Danielopolina wilkensi n. sp. (Halocyprida, Thaumatocyprididae), ein neuer Ostracode aus einem marinen Lava-Tunnel auf Lanzarote (Kanarische Inseln). Mitteilungen aus dem Hamburgischen Zoologischen Museum und Institut, 82:255-261, figures 1-7.
  • Iliffe, T.M. 1990. Crevicular dispersal of marine cave faunas. Memoires de Biospeologie, 17:93-96.
  • Iliffe, T.M. 1991. Anchialine fauna of the Galapagos Islands. In M.J. James, editor, Galapagos Marine Invertebrates. Pages 209-231, 8 figures, 1 table. New York: Plenum Press.
  • Kornicker, L.S. and T.M. Iliffe. 1989. New Ostracoda (Halocyprida: Thaumatocyprididae and Halocyprididae) from anchialine caves in the Bahamas, Palau and Mexico. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 470:1-47, 22 figures, 8 tables.
  • Kornicker, L.S. and T.M. Iliffe. 1992. Ostracoda (Halocyprida: Cladocopina) from an anchialine caves in Jamaica, West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 530:1-72, 11 figures, 1 table.
  • Kornicker, L.S. and T.M. Iliffe. 1995. Ostracoda (Halocyprida: Cladocopina) from an anchialine lava tube in Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 568:1-32, 16 figures, 1 table.
  • Kornicker, L.S. and T.M. Iliffe. 1998. Myodocopid Ostracoda (Halocypridina, Cladocopina) from anchialine caves in the Bahamas, Canary Islands, and Mexico. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 599:1-93, 62 figures, 2 maps, 9 tables.
  • Kornicker, L.S. and T.M. Iliffe. 2000. Myodocopid Ostracoda from Exuma Sound, Bahamas, and from marine caves and Blue Holes in the Bahamas, Bermuda and Mexico. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 606:1-98, 56 figures, 2 maps, 9 tables.
  • Kornicker, L.S. and I.G. Sohn. 1976. Phylogeny, ontogeny, and morphology of living and fossil Thaumatocypridacea (Myodocopa: Ostracoda). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 219:1-124, 93 figures.

Contributor: Louis S. Kornicker, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC

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