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On the origin of Danielopolina baltanasi sp. n. (Ostracoda, Thaumatocypridoidea) from three anchialine caves on Christmas Island, a seamount in the Indian Ocean

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The morphology and systematic affinities of Danielopolina sp. cf. D. kornickeri from Christmas Island, an isolated seamount in the Indian Ocean, are reassessed with the aid of new material including a juvenile male. The species is formally described as Danielopolina (Humphreysella) baltanasi sp. n., which places the species in a separate subgenus to Danielopolina (Danielopolina) kornickeri from northwest Australia, the only other member of the genus in the Indian Ocean. In addition, the only deep-sea member of the genus, D. carolynae from the mid-Atlantic, a putative colonizer of seamounts, belongs to the subgenus Danielopolina. These findings compound theories on the distribution and dispersal of anchialine faunas. A coherent programme of molecular phylogenetic research and historical biogeographical analysis is needed to further enquiry into the enigmatic distribution of the anchialine faunas of both isolated sea mounts and epicontinental waters. Owing to the scarcity of anchialine fauna and the difficulty of access of their habitat, a global effort will be required to assemble the required specimens. La morphologie et les affinités systématiques de Danielopolina sp. cf. D. kornickeri de l'île Christmas, un mont sous-marin isolé de l'océan Indien, sont re-évaluées grâce à du matériel nouveau dont un mâle juvénile. L'espèce est officiellement décrite comme Danielopolina (Humphreysella) baltanasi sp. n., qui la place dans un sous-genre distinct de Danielopolina (Danielopolina) kornickeri du nord-ouest de l'Australie, le seul autre membre du genre dans l'océan Indien. De plus, le seul autre membre profond du genre, D. carolynae de la zone médio-Atlantique, que l'on suppose coloniser les monts-marins, appartient au sous-genre Danielopolina. Ces découvertes compliquent les théories sur la répartition et la dispersion des faunes anchihalines. Un programme cohérent de recherche sur la phylogénie moléculaire et l'analyse biogéographique historique sera nécessaire pour éclaircir ultérieurement la répartition énigmatique des faunes anchihalines à la fois des monts sous-marins isolés et des eaux épicontinentales. En raison de la rareté de la faune anchihaline et de la difficulté d'accès à son habitat, un effort global sera nécessaire afin de rassembler les spécimens requis.

Affiliations: 1: Collections and Research Centre, Western Australian Museum, Locked Bag 49, Welshpool D.C., WA 6986, Australia; 2: Department of Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012, U.S.A.; 3: Commission of the Stratigraphical & Palaeontological Research of Austria, Austrian Academy of Sciences, c/o Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Graz, Heinrichstrasse 26, A-8010 Graz, Austria

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