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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Ostracoda
Order Halocyprida
Family Halocyprididae

Spelaeoecia mayan Kornicker & Iliffe, 1998



Taxonomic Characterization:
Carapace uncalcified, flexible and elongate. The dorsal margin is straight and slightly lower near posterior end. Ventral margin convex. Posterodorsal corner of right valve with small glandular-bearing protuberance. Surface with few long single bristles (Kornicker & Iliffe, 1998).

Disposition of Specimens: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, catalog numbers USNM 194268, 194321-2, 194405, 194533.

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Adult male carapace length up to 1.31 mm; adult female to 1.46 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: Ten, all from anchialine caves.

Genus Range:

  • Bahamas:
    • Exuma Cays: S. capax Kornicker, 1990 and S. styx Kornicker, 1990 as reported by Kornicker & Iliffe, 1998, 2000
    • Grand Bahama Island: S. sagax Kornicker, 1990; S. parkeri Kornicker & Iliffe, 2002
    • Long Island: S. capax Kornicker, 1990
    • South Andros Island: S. styx Kornicker, 1990
    • San Salvador: S. barri Kornicker & Barr, 1997
  • Bermuda: S. bermudensis Angel & Iliffe, 1987
  • Cuba:
    • S. cubensis Kornicker & Yager, 1996
    • S. saturno Kornicker & Yager, 2002
  • Jamaica: S. jamaicensis Kornicker & Iliffe, 1992
  • Yucatan, Mexico: S. mayan Kornicker & Iliffe, 1998
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Spelaeoecia: genus range

Species Range: Known only from Mayan Blue Cenote, Tulum (type locality), and 27 Steps Cenote (Kornicker and Iliffe, 2000), both in Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Closest Related Species: S. mayan closely resembles S. bermudensis from Bermuda.

Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves

Ecology: Collected in fully marine salinity waters (35 ppt) in depths of 17-21 m.

Life History: Six specimens have been collected - 2 adult males and 4 adult females. This genus is believed to have seven stages. Of the six juvenile stages, instars III-VI probably have been identified.

Evolutionary Origins: 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 (Iliffe in Kornicker and Iliffe, 1998:2). The genera Deeveya Kornicker & Iliffe, 1985 and Spelaeoecia Angel & Iliffe, 1987 comprise the subfamily Deeveyinae Kornicker & Iliffe, 1985. The distribution of this subfamily is restricted to the Caribbean, West Indies, Bermuda, and Yucatan Peninsula.

Conservation Status: Restricted to two caves in the Yucatan Peninsula

References:

  • Angel, M.V. and T.M. Iliffe. 1987. Spelaeoecia bermudensis new genus, new species, a halocyprid ostracod form marine caves in Bermuda. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 7:541-553, 7 figures, 3 tables.
  • 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, 1 figure.
  • Danielopol, D.L., A. Baltanas, and G. Bonaduce. 1996. The darkness syndrome in subsurface-shallow and deep-sea dwelling Ostracoda (Crustacea). In: F. Uiblein, J. Ott and M. Stachowitsch, editors, Deep-Sea and Extreme Shallow-Water Habitats: Affinities and Adaptations. Biosystematics and Ecology Series, 11:123-144. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences.
  • 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. New York: Plenum Press.
  • Kornicker, L.S. and D.J. Barr. 1997. Anchialine Ostracoda (Halocypridinae) from San Salvador, Bahamas. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 588:1-20, 11 figures, 2 tables.
  • Kornicker, L.S. and T.M. Iliffe. 1992. Ostracoda (Halocypridina, Cladocopina) from anchialine caves in Jamaica, West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 530:1-22, 11 figures, 9 tables.
  • 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 J. Yager. 1996. The troglobitic halocyprid Ostracoda of anchialine caves in Cuba. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 580:1-16, 9 figures, 1 table.
  • Kornicker, L.S. and J. Yager. 2002. Description of Spelaeoecia saturno, a new species from an anchialine cave in Cuba, (Crustacea: Ostracoda: Myodocopa: Halocyprididae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 115(1):153-170, 11 figures, 2 tables.
  • Kornicker, L. S., J. Yager, and D. Williams. 1990. Ostracoda (Halocyprididae) from anchialine caves in the Bahamas. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 495:1-51, 30 figures, 4 tables.

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


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