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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT From the assessment of the individual distribution of 87 species of deep-water brachyuran crabs inhabiting the Straits of Florida, four major distributional patterns were recognized: Continental, Insular, Deep-slope, and Cross-Strait. The Continental pattern included 22 species confined to the continental margin of the Straits. The Insular pattern consisted of 14 species whose occurrence was limited to the western edge of the Bahama Bank and the northern coast of Cuba. The Deep-slope pattern contained only four species found inhabiting the deepest sectors, namely, the southern and lower central regions of the Straits. The Cross-Strait distribution included 44 species or 50% of those examined; these species occupied suitable habitats on both continental and insular margins of the Straits. Four subpatterns are proposed on the basis of the restrictive occurrence that some of these elements exhibited along the three topographic provinces on the continental side.

Affiliations: 1: Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, Apartado Postal 70-305, Mexico, D.F. 04510, Mexico.


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