Global diversity of cumaceans & tanaidaceans (Crustacea: Cumacea & Tanaidacea) in freshwater


Cumacea and Tanaidacea are marginal groups in continental waters. Although many euryhaline species from both groups are found in estuaries and coastal lagoons, most occur only temporarily in non-marine habitats, appearing unable to form stable populations there. A total of 21 genuinely non-marine cumaceans are known, mostly concentrated in the Ponto-Caspian region, and only four tanaids have been reported from non-marine environments. Most non-marine cumaceans (19 species) belong in the Pseudocumatidae and appear restricted to the Caspian Sea (with salinity up to 13‰) and its peripheral fluvial basins, including the northern, lower salinity zones of the Black Sea (Sea of Azov). There are nine Ponto-Caspian genera, all endemic to the region. Only two other taxa (in the family Nannastacidae) occur in areas free of any marine–water influence, in river basins in North and South America. Both seem able to survive in waters of raised salinity of the lower reaches of these fluvial systems; but neither has been recorded in full salinity marine environments. The only non-marine tanaidacean thus far known lives in a slightly brackish inland spring in Northern Australia. The genus includes a second species, from a brackish-water lake at the Bismarck Archipelago, tentatively included here as non-marine also. Two additional species of tanaidaceans have been reported from non-marine habitats but both also occur in the sea.

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This is a contribution to Spanish MEC project CGL2005-02217/ BOS.

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Correspondence to D. Jaume.

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Guest editors: E. V. Balian, C. Lévêque, H. Segers & K. Martens

Freshwater Animal Diversity Assessment

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Jaume, D., Boxshall, G.A. Global diversity of cumaceans & tanaidaceans (Crustacea: Cumacea & Tanaidacea) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595, 225–230 (2008).

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  • Freshwater
  • Global assessment
  • Species richness
  • Peracarida
  • Crustacea