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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT A new calanoid copepod, Fosshagenia ferrarii, new genus, new species, was found in plankton samples collected in an anchialine cave of Caicos Islands, Bahamas. A combination of features found in this species separates it as the type of a new superfamily. The new taxon can be distinguished by a combination of several relevant taxonomic characteristics, such as the fusion of antennular segments 8 and 9, the right antennule modified in the male, less than 3 endopodal segments on the first legs, the presence of a uniramous female fifth leg, a male fifth leg forming a complex grasping organ, reduced mouthparts, and the presence of only 1 seta on the middle endopodal segment of legs 3 and 4. The new taxon appears to be more closely related to fresh- and brackish-water forms (Centropagoidea) than to any other hitherto known anchialine copepod group. The type species can be distinguished by the presence of lateral processes on the genital double-somite of the female and on the first urosomal somite of the male. It is the smallest of the known anchialine calanoid species. This small species, a predator in the water column, diverges from other anchialine copepods which are bottom-dwellers.


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