Tuesday 18 March 2014

A new species of Cleaner Shrimp from the western Atlantic.

Cleaner Shrimps (Stenopodidea) are Decapod Crustaceans more closely related to Crabs and Lobsters than true Shrimps (Caridea). They are a small group, with 71 known extant species and to known fossil species from the Late Cretaceous. They are predominantly shallow water species dwelling on Coral reefs in tropical and subtropical waters. The group get their name from the habit of certain species which clean ectoparasites from Fish.

In a paper published in the journal Zootaxa on 11 March 2013, Joseph Goy of the Department of Biology at Harding University and Irene Cardoso of the Setor de Carcinologia at the Museu Nacional of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, describe a new species of Stenopodid Shrimp from the Western Atlantic.

The new species is placed in the genus Odontozona, and given the specific name lopheliae, which is derived from Lophelia pertusa, a deep-sea coral with which the Shrimps were associated. Odontozona lopheliae is described from 2 male and eight female specimens collected from depths of between 509 m and 665 m from the Campos Basin off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, the waters off Sapelo Island, Georgia and Green Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as 84 observations of the species by submersibles around Green Canyon and Viosca Knoll, also in the Gulf of Mexico at depths of between 459 m and 525 m. 

Odontozona lopheliae is a small robust Shrimp with a laterally compressed body. It is white with red markings and reaches between 12 and 21 mm in length.

Odontozona lopheliae, female specimen from off Sapelo Island, Georgia. Susan DeVictor in Goy & Cardoso (2014).

Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.