A new Speleophria (Copepoda, Misophrioida) from an anchialine cave of the Yucatán Peninsula with comments on the biogeography of the genus Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami. Misophrioid copepods are hyperbenthic or anchialine forms whose known distributional patterns appear to have a Tethyan origin and subsequent vicariant processes. A new misophrioid copepod, Speleophria germanyanezi n. sp., collected from an anchialine cave in Cozumel Island, Yucatan Peninsula (YP), is described based on male and female specimens. This is the second report describing a misophrioid copepod species from the Yucatan Peninsula, harboring a remarkably diverse anchialine crustacean fauna. The new species is the sixth of this anchialine genus. It differs from its congeners by a combination of characters including: The armature of leg 4 exopod, 21-segmented female antennule, 24-segmented male antennule, both with moderate proximal expansion, the male with the terminal antennulary segments distinctively elongate. The fifth leg distal segment is armed with 3 elements in the female, 4 in the male. The female genital double-somite is furnished with long, slender spinules. The other members of Speleophria are distributed in Europe (Croatia, Spain), Bermuda, and Australia. Relationships among species of Speleophria have revealed amphiatlantic pairs of sister taxa. The new species has little affinity with its regionally closest congener from Bermuda; it appears to be most closely related to the Croatian S. mestrovi and could be its western Atlantic counterpart. The different misophrioid fauna between the YP and Cozumel Island and the more recent emergence of Cozumel with respect to that of the YP plate suggests either an ancestral Tethyan-related independent colonization or a relatively recent local dispersal through deep-sea crevicular habitats before emergence of these land masses. Misophrioid copepods include deep-sea hyperbenthic, a bathypelagic, and many anchialine forms that have been reported from different geographic regions (Boxshall and Roe 1980, Boxshall 1983, 1987, Boxshall and Iliffe 1986, 1990, Huys 1988, Jaume and Boxshall 1995, 1996a,b, 1997, 1998, Boxshall and Jaume 2000, Jaume et al. 2001, Boxshall et al. 2014), including the Yucatan Peninsula (YP) (Boxshall et al. 2014).

published proceedings

  • Bulletin of Marine Science

author list (cited authors)

  • Surez-Morales, E., Cervantes-Martnez, A., Gutirrez-Aguirre, M. A., & Iliffe, T.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Suárez-Morales, Eduardo||Cervantes-Martínez, Adrián||Gutiérrez-Aguirre, Martha Angélica||Iliffe, ThomasM

publication date

  • July 2017