Encounter of lithodid crab Paralomis birsteini on the continental slope off Antarctica, sampled by ROV
A population of stone crab (Lithodidae) was encountered on the continental slope off Antarctica in the Bellingshausen Sea between 1,123 and 1,304 m water depths using the ROV-Isis during leg 166 of the RV James Clark Ross, in January 2007. Specimens were video recorded and one specimen was retrieved by ROV for morphological and molecular identification. Based on morphology and molecular data from the mitochondrial COI gene, this specimen identified as P. birsteini, Macpherson, 1988a. The significance of the molecular data and their implications for biogeography and evolution of lithodids in the Southern Ocean are briefly discussed.
KeywordsSouthern Ocean Stone crab Molecular phylogeny Biogeography
We are grateful to the crew of R.V. James Clark Ross and the ROV-Isis team (NOCS) for help and assistance at sea, and to Julian Dowdeswell (SPRI, Cambridge) for the organization of leg JCR166. Molecular work was made possible by a travel grant from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to S.H. and a Research Grant from The Royal Society (2006-R2) to S.T. The ROV-cruise on board RV James Clark Ross was funded by NERC (project no. NE/D008352/1, P.I. Tyler). The authors are grateful for the valuable comments made by three anonymous reviewers. This work is a contribution to the Network of Excellence MarBEF under the sixth European Framework Programme (contract no. GOCE-CT-2003-505446).
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