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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Eumalacostraca
Order Decapoda
Family Hippolytidae

Janicea antiguensis (Chace, 1972)

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Synonyms: Barbouria antiguensis Chace, 1972

Taxonomic Characterization: Carapace with antennal and branchiostegal spines. Rostrum slender, about five times longer than high, but short, extending about to end of basal segment of antennular peduncle. Eyes pigmented, cornea broader than stalk. Telson with two pairs of dorsal spines and three pairs of terminal spines (Manning and Hart, 1984).

Disposition of Specimens: National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, catalog numbers USNM 195190 for Bermuda specimens, USNM 205695 for Grand Bahama specimens, and USNM 211469 for Cozumel specimens.

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Females measure up to 10.0 cm in length.

Number of Species in Genus: One; this species was originally placed in the genus Barbouria by Chace (1972), but was later reassigned to the new genus Janicea by Hart & Manning (1984).

Species Range:

  • Antigua (Chace, 1972)
  • Bahamas
    • Andros Island
    • Grand Bahama Island
      • Cemetery and Chimney Caves, Silver Point Blue Hole (Brooks, 1987)
  • Bermuda
    • Cooper's Island Cave (Manning & Hart, 1984)
  • Brazil
    • Guarapari, Espirito Santo (Wirtz, pers. commun.)
  • Canary Islands (Hanquet, 2001:153 cited by Wirtz, 2004)
  • Cape Verde Islands (Udekem d'Acoz, 2000)
  • São Tomé (Wirtz, 2004)
  • Yucatan Peninsula
    • Isla Cozumel
      • Cueva Quebrada (Kensley, 1988)
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Known from the Western Atlantic: Antigua (English Harbour), Bermuda (Cooper's Island) and the Bahamas (Andros and Grand Bahama Island) as well as the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico (Isla Cozumel). Recently discovered both from Eastern Atlantic: Cape Verde Islands (São Taigo Island, Tarrafal), Canary Islands (Hanquet, 2001:153 cited by Wirtz, 2004) and São Tomé (located off the coast of equatorial West Africa; Wirtz, 2004) and from Western South Atlantic (Guarapari, Espirito Santo, Brazil from deep inside a shipwreck "Victory 8B" located about 10 km offshore).

Click here to view the full size image Janicea antiguensis from the Cape Verde Islands
copyright Dr. Peter Wirtz:
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Closest Related Species: Previously assigned to the same genus as Barbouria cubensis

Habitat: Marine, sublittorally on seawalls, from between large rocks or in marine caves, ocean blue holes and interior of a shipwreck.

Ecology: Inhabits marine caves including coral reef caves and ocean blue holes. Also found free-swimming and walking on rock walls in fully marine salinity waters. In the Cape Verde Islands, it was collected at night from between large rocks on coarse sand shell bottom in 10-12 m depth and from a small cave at 7 m depth (Udekem d'Acroz, 2000). In Brazil, it was observed deep inside a shipwreck (Wirtz, personal communication).

Life History: Endopod of first pleopod of male without appendix interna, but with distal coupling hooks. Endopod of second pleopod of male with appendix masculina longer than appendix interna (Manning and Hart, 1984). Ovigerous females have been found with numerous small eggs, indicating an extended planktonic larval life, which helps to explain the wide distribution (Kensley, 1988).  Collected specimens include 2 males and 1 ovigerous female (Bermuda), 3 males and 1 ovigerous female (Grand Bahama), and 2 ovigerous females (Cozumel).

Evolutionary Origins: Considering its pigmented eyes and presence in caves with direct communication to the sea or in crevicular habitats, this species is probably a very recent cave colonist.

Conservation Status: Broad, amphi-Atlantic distribution in numerous reef caves, ocean blue holes and interior of a shipwreck.


  • Brooks, M. 1987. A discussion of the shrimps (Crustacea: Decapoda: Natantia) inhabiting the marine blue holes on the South Shore of Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas. Unpublished report, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida 59 pages, 21 figures.
  • Chace, F. 1972. The shrimps of the Smithsonian Bredin Caribbean Expeditions with a summary of the West Indian shallow-water species (Crustacea: Decapoda: Natantia). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 98: i-x, 1-179.
  • 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.
  • Manning, R.B. and C.W. Hart, Jr. 1984. The status of the hippolytid shrimp genera Barbouria and Ligur (Crustacea: Decapoda): A reevaluation. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 97(3): 655-665, 6 figures.
  • Udekem d'Acroz, C. d', 2000. First record of Janicea antiguensis (Chace, 1972) from the Cape Verde Islands and in the Eastern Atlantic (Decapoda, Caridea, Hippolytidae). Crustaceana, 73(9): 1163-1166, 1 figure.
  • Wirtz, P. 2004. Four amphi-Atlantic shrimps new for São Tomé and Príncipe (eastern central Atlantic). Arquipélago, Life and Marine Science. 21A: 83-85.

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