Danielopolina exuma Kornicker & Iliffe, 1998
Taxonomic Characterization: (genus description). D. exuma can be distinguished from other Danielopolina species by the following characteristics:
Disposition of Specimens: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, catalog numbers USNM 194262-3, 194304-5, 194416-30, 194532.
Ecological Classification: Stygobitic
Size: Adult females' lengths range between 0.53-0.55 mm without processes and the adult male is 0.51 mm long without processes.
Number of Species in Genus: Eleven (ten anchialine stygobitic, one deep sea)
Species Range: Known only from Norman's Pond Cave, Norman's Pond Cay (type locality), and Oven Rock Cave (Kornicker & Iliffe, 2000), Great Guana Cay, Exuma Cays, Great Bahama Bank, Bahamas
Closest Related Species: D. orghidani from Cuba
Habitat: Anchialine limestone cave
Ecology: Fully marine salinity waters. Found free swimming in the water column at a depth of 10-35 m. Unidentified brown particles observed in gut.
Life History: D. exuma has five growth stages. The carapaces of all five stages are similar in distribution of processes and ornamentation. The lengths without processes of the four larval instars (I-IV) range from 0.27 to 0.44 mm. One adult specimen contained several unextruded eggs.
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 two caves in the Exuma Cays.
Contributor: Louis S. Kornicker, National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC
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