Danielopolina bahamensis Kornicker & Iliffe, 1989
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)
Species Range: Known only from Hatchet Bay Cave, Hatchet Bay, Eleuthera
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.
Contributor: Louis S. Kornicker, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC
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