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Marc Christian Allentoft-Larsen

Anchialine biodiversity in the Turks and Caicos islands: New discoveries and current faunal composition

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Brett C. Gonzalez, Smithsonian Institution
  • ,
  • Alejandro Martínez, CNR
  • ,
  • Jørgen Olesen, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Sarit B. Truskey, Smithsonian Institution, Northeastern University
  • ,
  • Lauren Ballou, Texas A and M University
  • ,
  • Marc Allentoft-Larsen
  • Joost Daniels, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
  • ,
  • Paul Heinerth, Professional Technical Diver
  • ,
  • Mark Parrish, Big Blue Collective
  • ,
  • Naqqi Manco, Department of Environment and Coastal Resources
  • ,
  • Jon Ward, Dive Provo
  • ,
  • Thomas M. Iliffe, Texas A and M University
  • ,
  • Karen J. Osborn, Smithsonian Institution, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
  • ,
  • Katrine Worsaae, University of Copenhagen

Lying at the southernmost point ofthe Lucayan Archipelago, the Turks and Caicos Islands are amongst the better studied localities for anchialine cave biodiversity. For nearly five decades, novel invertebrate fauna, comprised primarily of crustaceans, have been collected from these tidally influenced pools – but new findings are always on the horizon. Herein we present new records of crustaceans and annelids from anchialine blue holes and horizontal caves of the Turks and Caicos. These findings include two potentially new species of meiofaunal annelids and a new species of remipede collected from a shallow water cave pool. Our 2019 expedition additionally expands known faunal distributions for several taxa across the Caicos islands, and raises the biodiversity of the region to 35 species, 13 of them considered endemic. This is the first comprehensive faunal list for the anchialine systems in the Caicos Bank.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Speleology
Pages (from-to)71-86
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - May 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Societa Speleologica Italiana. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Anchialine, Nerillidae, Polynoidae, Remipedia, Subterranean fauna

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