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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Malacostraca
Order Decapoda
Family Hippolytidae

Barbouria cubensis (von Martens, 1872)

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Barbouria cubensis

Synomyms: Hippolyte cubensis von Marten, 1872

Taxonomic Characterization: Eyes pigmented but reduced and with faceted cornea, narrower than stalk. Carapace and rostrum forming continuous arch dorsally; 3 dorsal teeth on carapace posterior to caudal margin of orbit. First pereiopods with well developed chelae. Second pereiopods with chelae of subequal size, carpus and merus multiarticulate. Carpus and propodus of third through fifth pereiopods multiarticulate. Endopod of first pleopod without retinacular hooks. The color of the species is variable.  For Bermuda specimens, Hart & Manning (1981) reported that the body in life is red to pale yellowish to cream, with numerous tiny white spots, changing in light from cream to reddish. The cornea is black, and the antennae and walking legs are white.

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Barbouria cubensis

Disposition of Specimens: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, catalog numbers USNM 184018-20 for Bermuda specimens.

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Postorbital carapace length about 12 mm.

Number of Species in Genus: One; Janicea antiguensis (Chace, 1972) has been removed from the genus Barbouria and placed in a new genus.

Species Range:

  • Bahamas:
    • Abaco (Holthuis, 1974)
    • Exumas
    • San Salvador (Hobbs, 1978)
  • Bermuda
    • Tucker's Town, Chalk, Admiral's Caves  (Hart & Manning, 1981)
  • Caicos Islands
    • Providenciales (Hobbs et. al., 1977)
  • Cayman Islands (Botosaneanu & Holthuis, 1970)
  • Cuba (Jaume, 1954; Botosaneanu & Holthuis, 1970; Holtuis, 1974)
  • Jamaica
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Barbouria cubensis: species range

Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves and pools open to sunlight.

Ecology: Found free-swimming in brackish pools (salinity of 11-19 ppt) both within and outside of caves.

Life History: Adult males and females are superficially indistinguishable (Hobbs, 1978).

Conservation Status: Restricted to anchialine caves and pools.


  • Botosaneanu L., and L.B. Holthuis. 1970. Subterranean shrimps from Cuba (Crustacea Decapoda Natantia). Travaux de L'Institut de Spéologie, "Emile Racovitza," 9:121-133, 2 figures.
  • Hart, C.W. Jr. and R.B. Manning. 1981. The cavernicolous caridean shrimps of Bermuda (Alpheidae, Hippolytidae, and Atyidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology, 1(3):441-456, 77 figures.
  • Hobbs, H.H. Jr., H.H. Hobbs III, and M.A. Daniels. 1977. A review of the troglobitic decapod crustaceans of the Americas. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 244:1-183.
  • Hobbs, Horton H. III. 1978. The female of Barbouria cubensis (Von Martens) (Decapoda, Hippolytidae) with notes on a population in the Bahamas. Crustaceana, 35: 99-102, 3 figures.
  • Holthius, L.B. 1947. The Hippolytidae and Rhynchocinetidae collected by the Siboga and Shellius expedtions with remarks on other species. Part 9 In: The Decapoda of the Siboga Expedetion. Sigboga-Expeditie, 39a:1-100, 15 figures.
  • Holthius, L.B. 1974. Subterranean Crustacea Decapoda Macrura collected by Mr. L. Botosaneanu during the 1973 Cuban-Roumanian biospeological expedition to Cuba. International Journal of Speleology, 6:231-242, 3 figures.
  • Jaume, M.L. 1954. Nota sobre Barbouria poeyi (Crustacea - Natantia). Circulares del Musea y Biblioteca de Zoologia de la Habana, 13(351):1500.
  • von Martens, E. 1872. Ueber Cubanishe Crustacean nach den Sammlungen Dr. J. Gundlach's. Archiv für Naturgeschichte, 38:77-147, 256-258, plate 4: figures 1-8, plate 5: figures 9-15.

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