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A New Giant Species of Predatory Fairy Shrimp from Idaho, USA (Branchiopoda: Anostraca)

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Abstract A previously unknown species of giant fairy shrimp is described. Branchinecta raptor n. sp. is highly adapted to a predatory mode of life. In both sexes, the first four pairs of thoracopods bear elongated, curved, heavily chitinized endopods, which are modified for grasping prey. Both sexes have elongated, “whip-like” cercopods nearly as long as the abdomen that are used for detecting prey. This new species appears most closely related to B. gigas Lynch 1937. Both species are large in size, have small eyes and sensory papillae, and share similar habitats and food preferences. However, B. raptor has some unusual predatory behaviors that differ from B. gigas. B. raptor is separated from all other Branchinecta by the unique form of the second antennae, the form of the cercopods, and the male genitalia. Large branchiopod records from Idaho are also discussed.

Affiliations: 1: a (DCR, correspondent) EcoAnalysts, Inc. 166 Buckeye Street, Woodland, California 95695, USA ; 2: b (DLQ, JW) State of Idaho Military Division, Gowen Field, Building 518, 4715 South Byrd Street, Boise Idaho 83705-8095, USA ; 3: c State of Idaho Military Division, Gowen Field, Building 518, 4715 South Byrd Street, Boise Idaho 83705-8095, USA ; 4: d (JO) Natural History Museum of Denmark, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark

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