, Volume 77, Issue 2, pp 131-151
Date: 18 Sep 2010

Tantulocarida (Crustacea) from the Southern Ocean deep sea, and the description of three new species of Tantulacus Huys, Andersen & Kristensen, 1992

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During the expedition ANT XIX/3 meiofauna samples were collected from the German research vessel Polarstern near the Shackleton Fracture Zone. During sorting of the samples 86 tantulus larvae were found. Extensive examination of the larvae revealed a high diversity of tantulocaridans in the Southern Ocean deep sea (33 species). A remarkable proportion of these were new species of Tantulacus Huys, Andersen & Kristensen, 1992. The present paper reports the discovery of three new Antarctic tantulocarids which are referred to Tantulacus. The affiliation of T. longispinosus n. sp., T. karolae n. sp. and T. dieteri n. sp. to Tantulacus is straightforward: all representatives of the Tantulocarida are characterised by the presence of 1-2 slender setae on the endopod of the second to fifth thoracopods, but in none of the hitherto described genera, other than Tantulacus, are these elements modified. Tantulacus hoegi Huys, Andersen & Kristensen, 1992 and the three new species share the possession of a distal rigid spine on the endopod of the second to fifth thoracopods as a synapomorphy and thus can be readily distinguished from other tantulocaridans. This is the first record of free-living sediment-inhabiting tantulus larvae from this area, although this probably reflects the degree of undersampling.