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A new genus and species of Phtisicidae (Crustacea: Amphipoda) from abyssal depths in the Japan Trench, with special reference to similarities with Southern Ocean genera

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Abyssododecas styx, a new genus and new species of Phtisicidae (Amphipoda), is described based on specimens collected from cold-seep sites at abyssal depths between 5313 and 7322 m in the Japan Trench, North Pacific, using the crewed submersible Shinkai 6500 and the Remotely-Operated Vehicle Kaiko. This is the deepest yet record of a caprellidean amphipod. While A. styx n. gen., n. sp. looks like a member of Caprellidae, this species can be assigned to Phtisicidae through the possession of a normally articulated pereopod 3 and the lack of a molar on the mandible. The distribution of Phtisicidae along the coast of Japan, including deep-sea habitats, is rather rare, whereas genera of Caprellidae are dominant. Abyssododecas n. gen. is most closely-related to Dodecasella K. H. Barnard, 1931, which is distributed in the Southern Ocean, but differs in possessing a 2-articulated flagellum on antenna 2. The present discovery of Abyssododecas n. gen. from the North Pacific suggests a northward-trending distribution pathway over the ocean floor over geological time into the North Pacific through transport by Antarctic Bottom Water.

Affiliations: 1: 1Graduate School of Agriculture, Ehime University, 3-5-7 Tarumi, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8566, Japan ; 2: 2Center of Advanced Technology for the Environment, Graduate School of Agriculture, Ehime University, 3-5-7 Tarumi, Matsuyama, Ehime 790-8566, Japan ; 3: 3Graduate School of Education, Hiroshima University, 1-1-1 Kagamiyama, Higashihiroshima, Hiroshima 739-8524, Japan ; 4: 4Research and Development Center for Submarine Resources, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), 2-15 Natsushima-cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa 237-0061, Japan

*Corresponding author; e-mail:

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