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Phylum Arthropoda
Subphylum Crustacea
Class Malacostraca
Order Decapoda
Family Atyidae

Typhlatya iliffei Hart & Manning, 1981



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Typhlatya iliffei: after Hart & Manning, 1981

Taxonomic Characterization: The rostrum is simple and spine-like and the carapace is smooth and without spines. The telson is 4 times as long as it is wide with 5 pairs of spines and 2 pairs of setae on the posterior margin. The lateral ramus of the uropod has a single blunt spine at the lateral angle. The caridean lobe on the first maxilliped is small but distinct. The eyes are pigmented and directed upward through the orbit. The antennal scale is less than twice as long as it is wide with a gently curving outer margin. The walking legs are long and slender. The color overall is whitish with red chromatophores on the antennular and antennal peduncles (Hart & Manning, 1981).

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Typhlatya iliffei

Disposition of Specimens: Female holotype collected from Tucker's Town Cave deposited in the United States National Museum (USNM 184012); female paratype collected from the same location (USNM 184013).

Ecological Classification: Stygobitic

Size: Female holotype carapace length 6.5 mm, female paratype carapace length 6.3 mm.

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: Known only from Tucker's Town Cave, Bermuda (Hart & Manning, 1981).

Closest Related Species: T. iliffei appears to be the most similar to T. rogersi due to their long rostrum and pigmented eyes. T. iliffei along with T. rogersi, T. galapagensis and T. garciai are the only four species of the genus that inhabit brackish water.

Habitat: Anchialine limestone caves

Ecology: T. iliffei inhabits Tucker's Town Cave, a single room cave with a sand and silt bottomed sea level pool in which the specimens were collected at a depth of 12 m. The pool's tidal fluctuations indicate a connection with the sea and the room has some illumination from light entering from above.

Life History: Two female specimens were collected.

Evolutionary Origins: Of the seventeen 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 sea mounts 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: T. iliffei is considered to be critically endangered (IUCN, 2000). It is restricted to a single anchialine cave in Bermuda.

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 (Crustacea: 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. 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.
  • IUCN, 2000. The 2000 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Gland, IUCN, 61 pages.
  • 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.
  • 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.


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