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GHOST SHRIMPS OF THE GENUS LEPIDOPHTHALMUS FROM THE CARIBBEAN REGION, WITH DESCRIPTION OF L. RICHARDI, NEW SPECIES, FROM BELIZE (DECAPODA: THALASSINIDEA: CALLIANASSIDAE)

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ABSTRACT Lepidophthalmus jamaicense, originally described in limited detail on the basis of two male type specimens from Montego Bay, Jamaica, is redescribed and fully illustrated in the course of our examination of the original types, a large series of recently collected male and female topotypes, and recent collections from the southeastern Caribbean Sea. Comparative morphological studies of all the known western Atlantic species serve to distinguish materials from Belize, which are herein recognized as L. richardi, new species. Included in these comparisons and descriptions are detailed studies of ventral cuticular armor in the anterior abdominal somites, an apparent apomorphic character of particular value in segregating tropical western Atlantic populations. The occurrence of L. jamaicense in southeastern Cuba is confirmed from reexamination of museum material, and the range of the species is extended to Tobago and coastal Venezuela in the extreme southeastern Caribbean. While there appears to be strong potential for regional endemism in western Atlantic species of the genus Lepidophthalmus, the widely separated insular populations of L. jamaicense in the Antillean region appear to be undifferentiated. Reproductive history and potential for larval dispersal in this species remains unknown and may not conform to the abbreviated life histories reported for its western Atlantic congeners.

10.1163/193724097X00341
/content/journals/10.1163/193724097x00341
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/content/journals/10.1163/193724097x00341
2017-11-24

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