Scientia Marina, Vol 63, No S1 (1999)

On the biogeography of Cumacea (Crustacea, Malacostraca). A comparison between South America, the Subantarctic Islands and Antarctica: present state of the art

Ute Mühlenhardt-Siegel
Zoologisches Institut und Zoologisches Museum, Universität Hamburg, Germany


Cumacea (Crustacea) were collected during the Joint Magellan expedition in November 1994, by means of an epibenthic sledge from RV Victor Hensen. The cumaceans were well represented, the second abundant order after the amphipods, among the other Peracarida in depth ranges between 25 and 665 m. Twenty-five species were found in the samples mainly from the Beagle Channel, nine of them were already known for this region. 14 species were recorded for the first time for this region, 2 of them were known from the northern Argentinian coast and one from Antarctica. The most important in terms of species richness and abundance were the families Diastylidae, Nannastacidae and Leuconidae. In the Beagle Channel an almost completely different cumacean fauna was found compared to the Subantarctic Islands, the Antarctic Peninsula and eastern Antarctic (Prydz Bay) regions. Comparison of published data and the present results show moderate overlap in the cumacean fauna at the species level between the periantarctic South Georgian shelf / Antarctic Peninsula (48%). Little correspondence at the species level was found between Antarctica / Subantarctic Kerguelen (14 %), South Georgia / Kerguelen (13 %) and Magellan / Antarctica (11 %). Interestingly, the Magellan region and South Georgia show very little species overlap (5 %). It is concluded that the Antarctic shelf regions were not colonized from the Magellan region via the Scotia Arc.


Cumacea; Antarctica; Subantarctic region; biogeography

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Copyright (c) 1999 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

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