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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Eumalacostraca
Order Decapoda
Family Agostocaridiae

Agostocaris bozanici Kensley, 1988

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Agostocaris bozanici: after Kensley, 1988

Taxonomic Characterization: Small, unpigmented shrimp characterized by a dorsally unarmed triangular rostrum which is apically acute and bilaterally compressed. There are 5 pairs of lateral and 5 pairs of posterior spines on the telson. Eyes are not differentiated into cornea and stalk and they lack pigment, are conical and are directed anterodorsally. Teeth and dorsal setae are absent. Integument with sparse scattering of tiny black chromatophores (Kensley, 1988).

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Female carapace length ranges from 4.3-8.0 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: Two, both stygobitic

Genus Range:

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Agostocaris bozanici

Species Range: Known only from Cenote Xcan-ha, Cozumel Island, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Closest Related Species: A. williamsi Hart & Manning, 1986 from anchialine caves in the Bahamas and Caicos Islands

Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves

Ecology: Free-swimming specimens were collected in euhaline waters (salinity 34 ppt) at 18 to 41 m depths. The foregut of two specimens were packed with the filaments of the benthic cyanobacterium Oscillatoria corallinae.

Life History: Of the nine specimens collected, four were females and five were immature. None of the females were ovigerous (Kensley, 1988).

Evolutionary Origins: Affinities for this family, which contains only two species, are unclear. The genus shares some features with the Bresiliidae, a family of shrimp inhabiting deep sea hydrothermal vents (Hart & Manning, 1986; Kensley, 1988).

Conservation Status: Restricted to a single anchialine cave on Isla Cozumel.


  • Hart, C.W. and R.B. Manning. 1986. Two new shrimps (Procaridae and Agostocarididae, new family) from marine caves of the western North Atlantic. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 6:408-416, 47 figures, 2 tables.
  • Kensley, B. 1988. New species and records of cave shrimps from the Yucatan Peninsula (Decapoda: Agostocarididae and Hippolytidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology, 8(4):688-699, 7 figures.

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