During an intensive study of the copepod associations living on the seagrass Thalassia hemprichii (Ehrenberg) Ascherson in Gazi Bay (Kenya), three representatives of the harpacticoid family Tetragonicipitidae Lang, 1944 were found. Diagoniceps laevis Willey, 1930 previously reported from Bermuda (type locality) and the Bahamas, was found in Gazi Bay. Comparison with the Atlantic material revealed only minor differences. Odaginiceps immanis n. sp. is the fourth species of the genus, which was known until now from three species described from the Central Atlantic. The new genus Mwania is defined for M. phytocola n. sp. which, with its three-segmented endopodite of the P1 bearing only two terminal appendages, appears to represent a stem taxon in the clade leading toAigondicepsFiers, 1995 and GodianicepsFiers, 1995. The description of this species is amended with observations on its copepodid development. A second new taxon Neogoniceps n. gen. is defined for N. martinezi n. sp., a species found in a sublittoral sediment sample off the coast of Peru. This taxon, belonging to the same clade as Mwania, shares with the latter the primitive body shape and the large endopodal rami of the swimming legs, but displays an advanced P1 endopodite (two-segmented) and an advanced spine formula on the distal exopodal segments of the swimming legs (2.2.2). The description of this species is extended with some observations on its latest (CIV and CV) copepodids. In addition, presence and homology of sexual dimorphic features in the natatorial legs of the Tetragonicipitidae are discussed. Based on these amendments, the generic definition of the genus Paraschizopera Wells, 1981 is discussed.
Copepoda Harpacticoida new taxa Tetragonicipitidae leg dimorphism development