Monday 24 November 2014

A new species of Wormshrimp from the Gura Ici Islands.

Wormshrimps, Ingolfiellidae, are small Amphipod Crustaceans with elongate Worm-like bodies. They seldom exceed 3 mm in length and typically live in interstitial spaces (i.e. spaces between particles) in marine sediments. They are found all over the world, from the deep oceans to beach sediments, and even in saline aquifers and waterways in continental areas far from the sea. However the group is poorly studied and understood, particularly with regard to how the many species are related to one-another, which the vast majority placed in a single, almost-certainly polyphyletic, genus, Ingolfiella.

In a paper published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on 30 August 2013, Ronald Vonk of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden and the Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics at the University of Amsterdam and Damià Jaume of the Instituto Mediterráneo de Estudios Avanzados describe a new species of Wormshrimp from Coral sand beach deposits on Pulau Lelei in the Gura Ici Islands west of Halmahera in the northern Moluccas, Indonesia.

The new species is place in the genus Ingolfiella, and given the specific name moluccensis, meaning ‘from the Moluccas’. The species is described from six female and two male specimens, ranging from 1.34 mm to 1.62 mm in length, the females being on average slightly larger than the males.

Ingolfiella moluccensis, female specimen, 1.55 mm in length. Vonk & Jaume (2014).

See also…

Wormshrimps are a poorly understood group of Amphipod Crustaceans found living in a variety of subterranean environments, including the interstitial spaces in sandy sediments from beaches to the deep ocean floors, to cave systems and fresh and brackish...

Amphipods are (mostly) small, laterally compressed Crustaceans with differentiated legs (i.e. not all their legs are the same). Female Amphipods carry their eggs in brood pouches till they hatch; the young resemble the adults and typically reach maturity after about six...

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