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New record of Munidopsis taiwanica (Decapoda, Anomura) from a mud volcano field in the Mariana Trench, with in-situ observations on habitat

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Squat lobsters are prevalent in chemosynthetic environments but have been insufficiently studied in mud volcano habitats. An abyssal species, Munidopsis taiwanica Osawa, Lin & Chan, 2008 was recently collected in a mud volcano field in the Mariana Trench at a depth greater than 5000 m, which represents a new distributional record. Its diagnostic characters are presented in this study. In-situ observation suggested that M. taiwanica was closely associated with this chemosynthetic environment and probably exhibited camouflage behaviour by attaching seafloor sediments onto its body. Munidopsis taiwanica is the first confirmed species of squat lobster found in the mud volcano environment, and currently represents the deepest record (5491 m) of squat lobsters in the world.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Marine Organism Taxonomy & Phylogeny, Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 7 Nanhai Road, 266071 Qingdao, P.R. China ; 2: 2Laboratory for Marine Biology and Biotechnology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, 266071 Qingdao, P.R. China ; 3: 3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100049 Beijing, P.R. China

4Co-corresponding author; e-mail:
5Co-corresponding author; e-mail:

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