Sunday 13 December 2015

Phoxocephalus tiomanensis: A new species of Phoxocephalid Amphipod from Pulau Tioman, Malaysia.

Phoxocephalid Amphipods are small, Shrimp-like Amphipod Crustaceans found throughout the worlds oceans. They are predominantly benthic (living on the seafloor rather than in the water column), and are found from the intertidal zones to the deep oceans. The group has a global distribution, bu reaches its maximum diversity in the waters around Australia.

In a paper published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on 6 November 2015, Myung-Hwa Shin of the National Marine Biodiversity Institute of Korea, Abdul Rahim Azman of the Marine Ecosystem Research Centre at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Won Kim of the School of Biological Sciences at Seoul National University describe a new species of Phoxocephalid Amphipod from Pulau Tioman, an island off the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia.

The new species is placed in the genus Phoxocephalus and given the specific name tiomanensis, meaning 'from Tioman'. The species is described from fourteen male specimens collected with light traps on Abect’s House Reef, on the northwest shore of the island at a depth of eight meters. These are between 2.7 and 3.03 mm in length, and have heads that comprise about 15% of their snouts, downward curving snouts, large subcircular eyes, slender mandibles and two pairs of antennae, the first being short and stout the second long and thin.

Phoxocephalus tiomanensis, male specimen in lateral view. Scale bar is 0.2 mm. Shin et al. (2015).

This is the first species of the genus  Phoxacephalus described from South East Asia, although as the genus is known from Australasian and East Asian waters this is not a great surprise. 

See also... 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)... new species of Wormshrimp from the Maldives.                                              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 molts. 

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