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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Ostracoda
Order Halocyprida
Family Thaumatocyprididae
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Danielopolina kakuki: after Kornicker & Iliffe, 2000

Danielopolina kakuki Kornicker & Iliffe, 2000

Taxonomic Characterization:
Carapace slightly elongate with fairly straight dorsal margin in vicinity of hinge and also straight margin between anterior and anteroventral processes. The reticulations on the carapace have continuous walls (Kornicker & Iliffe, 2000).

Disposition of Specimen: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, catalog number USNM 194534.

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Length including anterodorsal and posterodorsal processes is 0.63 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 Oven Rock Cave, Great Guana Cay, Exuma Cay, Bahamas.

Closest Related Species: The carapace of D. kakuki resembles that of D. mexicana. In addition, D. species A shows some similarities in the bristles of the 1st antenna.

Habitat: Anchialine limestone cave

Ecology: Additional fauna from Oven Rock Cave include remipedes, amphipods, cyclopoid, harpacticoid and calanoid copepods, hippolytid shrimp, ostracods and polynoid and archiannelid polychaetes (Kornicker & Iliffe, 1998).

Life History: Only one juvenile male has been collected. Due to the absence of a copulatory organ, it is presumed that this specimen is a late instar. It is known to be male because of the well-developed 3rd joint of the endopodite of the 2nd antenna (Kornicker & Iliffe, 2000).

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 Great Guana Cay, Exumas.


  • 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.
  • 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. 1998. Myodocopid Ostracoda (Halocypridina, Cladocopina) from anchialine caves in the Bahamas, Canary Islands, and Mexico. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 599:1-93, 62 figures, 5 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.

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

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