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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Subclass Ostracoda
Order Podocopida
Family Paracyprididae

Paracypris crispa Maddocks, 1986

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Paracypris crispa: right and left valve exteriors

Taxonomic Characterization: Paracypris crispa has a medium-sized carapace that is compressed and elongate with a somewhat sinuous lateral outline. The abductor muscle-scar pattern is composed of six small, ovate-subquadrate scars arranged in an anterior column of four and posterior column of two scars. The palp of the male fifth limb is very large and slender, without pegs or setae on the basal podomere. The terminal part is much reduced, with possible distal sensory seta enormously elongated and inflated, tapering to a smooth point. The furca has two sturdy, barbed terminal claws, a tiny anterodistal seta, and two tiny hairlike setae immediately behind the claws. The hemipenis is basally constricted, tapering anteriorly. Zenker's organ has an enlarged spherical bulb and six chitinous rosettes (Maddocks & Iliffe, 1986).

Disposition of Specimens: All specimens were deposited in the United States Museum of Natural History: male holotype (USNM 216456) and paratypes (USNM 216457-216459).

Ecological Classification: Either stygophilic or accidental

Size: Length of right valve 0.74 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: Numerous

Species Range: Known from Little River Cave, Walsingham Cave, Castle Harbour, North Lagoon, Ferry Reach, Harrington Sound, and the South Slope in Bermuda (Maddocks & Iliffe, 1986).  The same species has also been found in Cueva de la Cadena, an anchialine lava tube located 2 km west of Puerto Villamil on Isla Isabella in the Galapagos Islands (Maddocks & Iliffe, 1991).

Closest Related Species: Paracypris crispa is similar to P. polita found in European waters, but differs as the later species is acutely pointed posteriorly with more regularly branching radial pore canals and five long setae on the furca. Many undescribed species of the genus Paracypris exist on the Atlantic shelf of North America and in coralline environments of the Caribbean and Indian Ocean, thus it is difficult to make a clear-cut distinction between this species and the genus itself (Maddocks & Iliffe, 1986).

Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves and open waters

Ecology: P. crispa was collected from cave sediments using a fine-mesh hand net at 0-8 m water depths and from lagoonal and reef environments. It is commonly found crawling on cave floors and walls and in open-water environments (Maddocks & Iliffe, 1986).

Life History: Collected specimens included 5 live and 72 subfossil specimens. This includes the first description of a male in the genus.

Evolutionary Origins: Collected specimens were crawling on cave floors and walls, but are also common in open-water environments.


  • Maddocks, R.F. and T.M. Iliffe. 1986. Podocopid Ostracoda of Bermudian caves. Stygologia, 2: 26-76, 18 figures.
  • Maddocks, R.F. and T.M. Iliffe. 1991. Anchialine podocopid Ostracoda of the Galapagos Islands. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 103:75-99.


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

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