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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Ostracoda
Order Halocyprida
Family Halocyprididae

Spelaeoecia sagax Kornicker, in Kornicker, Yager and Williams, 1990


Taxonomic Characterization:
Carapace with evenly rounded posterior edge. First antenna without ventral bristle on 4th joint. Carapace uncalcified, elongate. Dorsal margin straight, ventral margin broadly convex. Surface with thin, slightly oblique striations (Kornicker, Yager and Williams, 1990).

Disposition of Specimens: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, catalog numbers USNM 193390, 193443-50, 193690.

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Adult male carapace length up to 1.73 mm; adult female to 1.77 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: Eight, 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 Sagittarius Cave, Sweeting's Cay, Grand Bahama Island, Little Bahama Bank.

Closest Related Species: Resembles S. styx from the Exumas and South Andros.

Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves

Ecology: Tubular fragments and unidentified brown particles found within the gut.

Life History: Of the 33 specimens collected: 12 were adult females, 15 were adult males, 4 were A-2 instars and 2 were A-2 instars.

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 a single cave on Sweeting's Cay.

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, figure 1.
  • 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 T.M. Iliffe. 1992. Ostracoda (Halocypridina, Cladocopina) from anchialine caves in Jamaica, West Indies. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 530:1-22, 11 figures, 9 table.
  • 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. 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., 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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