Monday, January 4, 2016

A new ostracod: Bairdoppilata scaura

Ostracods are often called seed shrimp which is in reference to their body shape. Their bodies are flattened from side to side and protected by a mussel-like, chitinous or calcareous valve or "shell". The hinge of the two valves is in the upper region of the body. 

Some 70,000 species have been described but the majority of them is long extinct but the fossil record is rich and Ostracods are bar far the most common arthropods found in fossils. About 13,000 extant species have been found so far, most of them are marine living animals.

Our species of the day was found in the French Frigate Shoals. French Frigate Shoals is an atoll, consisting of a 32-km long, crescent-shaped reef and lagoon on an almost submerged seamount in the Hawaii-Midway chain, 900 km northwest of Honolulu and about the same distance southeast of Midway Island. The species name scaurus, meaning with swollen ankles or club-footed refers to the short antennal claws of the animal.

For the experts: Bairdoppilata scaura, n. sp. and five species of Bairdoppilata and Paranesidea in open nomenclature are described from encrusting communities on French Frigate Shoals and Kane’ohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands. Some poorly documented anatomical traits (carapace setae, hingement, antennal claws, genitalia) are examined for their potential taxonomic significance, in order to confirm the coherence of the Genus Bairdoppilata and to explore its diversity. 

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