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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Eumalacostraca
Order Decapoda
Family Atyidae

Typhlatya dzilamensis Alvarez, Iliffe and Villalobos, 2005


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Typhlatya dzilamensis: after Alvarez et al., 2005

Taxonomic Characterization: Body translucent to white, lacking any pigment. Eyes reduced and without pigment. Rostrum triangular, unarmend, extending anteriorly reaching distal margin of eyes. Carapace smooth, lacking spines. Abdomen smooth.  An updated key to the 17 species in the genus is presented in Alvarez, Iliffe and Villalobos (2005).

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Typhlatya dzilamensis

Disposition of Specimens: Colección Nacional de Crustáceas, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, catalog numbers CNCR 21795, CNCR 21796 and CNCR 21797.

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: To 24 mm in total length. Carapace length of males to 7.0 mm; of females to 8.2 mm (Alvarez, Iliffe and Villalobos, 2005).

Number of Species in Genus: Seventeen, all stygobitic

Genus Range:

  • Ascension Island: T. rogersi Chace & Manning, 1972
  • Bahamas:
    • Acklins Island: T. kakuki Alvarez, Iliffe and Villalobos, 2005
  • Bermuda:
    • Tucker's Town Cave: T. iliffei Hart & Manning, 1981
  • Caicos Islands:
    • Providenciales Island: T. garciai Chace, 1942, reported in Buden and Felder, 1977
  • Cuba:
    • Camagüey, Matanzas & Pinar del Río Provinces: T. consobrina Botosaneanu & Holthuis, 1970
    • Holguín & Pinar del Río Provinces: T. garciai Chace, 1942
    • Matanzas Province: T. elenae Juarrero, 1994; T. garciadebrasi Juarrero y Ortiz, 2000
    • La Habana Province: T. taina Estrada y Gómez, 1987
  • Curaçao: T. monae Chace, 1954 reported in Debrot, 2003
  • Dominican Republic:
    • Provincia de San Pedro de Macoris: T. monae Chace, 1954 reported in Chace, 1975
  • Galapagos islands:
    • Isla de Santa Cruz: T. galapagensis Monod & Cals, 1970
  • Herzegovina: T. pretneri (Matjašic, 1956)
  • Honduras:
    • Utila: T. utilaensis, Alvarez, Iliffe and Villalobos, 2005
  • Leeward Islands:
    • Barbuda: T. monae Chace, 1954, reported in Chace and Hobbs, 1969
  • Puerto Rico:
    • Isla Mona: T. monae Chace, 1954 reported in Peck, 1974
  • Spain:
    • Castellon: T. miravetensis Sanz & Platvoet, 1995
  • Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico:

 

Species Range: Collected from three caves: Cenote Cervera, Cenote Dzilamway and Cenote Buya Uno, near Dzilam de Bravo, Yucatan on the northern Gulf of Mexico coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Closest Related Species: Typhlatya dzilamensis is the fourth species to be described from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. While the ranges of T. mitchelli and T. pearsei overlap considerably over the north central portion of the peninsula, T. dzilamensis appears to be in an area where no other Typhlatya species are present. T. dzilamensis is more similar to T. mitchelli than to the other two Mexican species. However, the two species can be easily distinguished because in T. mitchelli the rostrum is directed upwards, is short, and is acuminate in dorsal view, whereas in T. dzilamensis it is directed frontwards, it reaches the distal margin of the eyes, and is triangular in dorsal view; in T. mitchelli the carpi of pereiopods 1–2 are longer and thinner; and in T. dzilamensis there are three pairs of spines and two pairs of setae on the distal margin of the telson versus two pairs of spines and two pairs of spiniform setae in T. mitchelli (Alvarez, Iliffe and Villalobos, 2005).


Habitat: Fully marine cave waters.

Ecology: Found below the halocline at depths ranging from 10 to 27 m. Collected from bottom sediments and several depressions containing milky, sulfurous waters. Other specimens collected were cirolanid isopods (Creaseriella anops), mysids and thermosbaenaceans (Alvarez, Iliffe and Villalobos, 2005).

Life History: Of the 6 specimens collected 4 were females and 2 males (Alvarez, Iliffe and Villalobos, 2005).

Evolutionary Origins: Of the 17 species in the genus, six (from the Galapagos Islands, Bahamas, Bermuda, Ascension Island, Yucatan and the Caicos Islands) inhabit brackish or marine waters, while the remainder are found in freshwater habitats. According to Iliffe (1986:7), "species within the genus appear to have evolved from an open water marine ancestor in the Atlantic which spread westward through the Caribbean into the Pacific with prevailing currents before the closure of the Panama land bridge." Iliffe et al. (1983) suggested an origin of the genus on submerged and emergent seamounts associated with the Mid-Atlantic Ridge during the separation of the American and African continental masses.
Sanz and Platvoet (1995) believe that the occurrence of the genus in Europe links the origin of the genus Typhlatya to the Tethys Sea. The ancestor was probably a marine, coastal shrimp inhabiting low latitude seas. Maximal development of the ancestral range probably occurred in the Late Cretaceous (about 90 MYA). The full opening of the Atlantic and the end of global Tethyan currents divided its range into three populations: European, Mid-Atlantic Ridge and Central American. Central American populations were further subdivided by plate tectonics into Yucatan, Antilles and Galapagos populations. For unknown reasons, the ancestral marine populations disappeared, leaving only those species that had earlier entered the cave environment. Absence of clear morphological patterns within the recent species may be due to the early timing of isolation between and within lineages.

Conservation Status: Found in only three cenotes on the north central coastline of the Yucatan Peninsula.

References:

  • Alvarez, F., T.M. Iliffe and J.L. Villalobos. 2005. New species of the genus Typhlatya (Decapoda: Atyidae) from anchialine caves in Mexico, the Bahamas, and Honduras. Journal of Crustacean Biology, 25(1):81–94, 7 figures.
  • Botosaneanu, L., and L.B. Holthuis. 1970. Subterranean shrimps from Cuba (Crusacea: Decapoda: Natantia). Travaux de L'Institut de Spéologie, "Emile Racovitza," 9:121-133, 2 figures.
  • Buden, D.W., and D.L. Felder. 1977. Cave shrimps in the Caicos Islands. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 90(1):108-115.
  • Chace, F.A. Jr. 1954. Two new subterranean shrimps (Decapoda: Caridea) from Florida and the West Indies, with a revised key to the American species. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 44(10):318-324, 2 figures.
  • Chace, F.A. Jr. 1975. Cave shrimp (Decapoda: Caridea) from the Dominican Republic. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 88:29-44, 7 figures.
  • Chace, F.A. Jr. and H.H. Hobbs Jr. 1969. The freshwater and terrestrial decapod crustaceans of the West Indies with special reference to Dominica. United States National Museum Bulletin, 292:1-258, 76 figures.
  • Chace, F.A. Jr., and R.B. Manning. 1972. Two new caridean shrimps, one representing a new family, from marine pools on Ascension Island (Crustacea: Decapoda: Natantia). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 131:1-18, 11 figures.
  • Creaser, E.P. 1936. Crustaceans from Yucatan. In: A.S. Pearse, E.P. Creaser, and F.G. Hall, The cenotes of Yucatan: a zoological and hydrographic survey. Carnegie Institution of Washington Publications, 47:117-132, 43 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. III. 1979. Additional notes on cave shrimps (Crustacea: Atyidae and Palaemonidae) from the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 92(3):618-633, 3 figures, 2 tables.
  • Hobbs, H.H. Jr. and H.H. Hobbs III. 1976. One the troglobitic shrimps of the Yucatan Peninsula (Decapoda: Atyidae and Palaemonidae). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 240:1-23, 8 figures, 2 maps.
  • Hobbs, H.H. Jr., H.H. Hobbs III, and M.A. Daniel. 1977. A review of troglobitic decapod crustaceans of the Americas. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology, 244:1-183.
  • Iliffe, T.M. 1986. The zonation model for the evolution of aquatic faunas in anchialine waters. Stygologia, 2:2-9.
  • Iliffe, T.M., C.W. Hart, Jr. and R.B. Manning. 1983. Biogeography and the caves of Bermuda. Nature, 302:141-142.
  • Juarrero, A. y M. Ortiz. 2000. El género Typhlatya (Crustacea: Decapoda: Atyidae) en Cuba, con la descripción de una nueva especie. Avicennia, 12/13:45-54, 6 figures.
  • Monod, T. and P. Cals. 1970. Sur une espece nouvelle de crevette cavernicole: Typhlatya galapagensis (Decapoda Natantia; Atyidae). Mission Zoologique Belge aux Iles Galapagos et en Ecuador, 2:57-103, 67 figures.
  • Peck, S.B. 1974. The invertebrate fauna of tropical American caves, part II: Puerto Rico, an ecological and zoogeographic analysis. Biotropica, 6(1):14-31, 8 figures.
  • Pérez-Aranda, L. 1983. Atyidae: Typhlatya pearsei. Fauna de los Cenotes de Yucatan, No. 3, Universidad de Yucatan, Merida, 11 pp., 2 figures, 4 maps.
  • Reddell, J.R. 1977. A preliminary survey of the caves of the Yucatan Peninsula. In: Survey of the Caves and Cave Fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula, J.R. Reddell (ed.), Association for Mexican Cave Studies Bulletin 6, pages 215-296, 15 figures, 1 table.
  • Sanz, S. and D. Platvoet. 1995. New perspectives of the evolution of the genus Typhlatya (Crustacea, Decapoda): First record of a cavernicolous atyid in the Iberian Peninsula, Typhlatya miravetensis n. sp. Contributions to Zoology (Amsterdam), 65(2):215-296, 8 figures, 4 tables.
  • Wilkens, H. 1982. Regressive evolution and phylogenetic age: The history of colonization of freshwaters of Yucatan by fish and Crustacea. Association of Mexican Cave Studies Bulletin, 8:237-243.

Contributor: Fernando Alvarez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México


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