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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Malacostraca
Order Decapoda
Family Agostocarididae

Agostocaris williamsi Hart & Manning, 1986

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Agostocaris williamsi: after Hart & Manning, 1986

Taxonomic Characterization: Rostrum well developed, with dorsal teeth. Carapace lacking spines and grooves. Eyes weakly pigmented, reduced. Antennal scale with lateral spine. First maxilliped with lash on exopod. Second maxilliped with terminal segments serial. First and second pereiopods chelate. Third to fifth pereiopods ambulatory, dactyls armed with multiple spines on flexor faces.

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Postorbital carapace lengths ranging from 4.0-7.5 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: Two, both stygobitic

Genus Range:

  • Bahamas:
    • Cat Island: Agostocaris williamsi Hart & Manning, 1986
    • Grand Bahama Island: Agostocaris williamsi Hart & Manning, 1986
  • Caicos Islands:
    • North Caicos Island: Agostocaris williamsi Hart & Manning, 1986
    • Providenciales Island: Agostocaris williamsi Hart & Manning, 1986
  • Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico:

Species Range: In the Bahamas, collected from Big Fountain Blue Hole on Cat Island and Old Freetown Cave on Grand Bahama Island. In the Caicos Islands, collected from Airport Cave on Providenciales Island and Cottage Pond on North Caicos Island.

Closest Related Species: Agostocaris bozanici Kensley, 1988 from an anchialine cave on Isla Cozumel, Mexico

Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves

Ecology: This species is free-swimming. Found in depths between 0.5 and 30 m in fully marine salinity waters.

Life History: Of the 12 specimens collected, all have been females.

Evolutionary Origins: Shares some features with the Bresilidae, though a distinct feature of Agostocaris - the form of the articulation of the carpus and the propodus of the first cheliped - warrants the family as distinct.

Conservation Status: Restricted to anchialine caves on four islands in the Bahamas and Caicos Islands.


  • 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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