A new species of Bathymedon Sars, 1892 (Amphipoda: Oedicerotidae) from the western Mediterranean bathyal floor
Bathymedon longirostris sp. nov. (Amphipoda: Oedicerotidae) from the western Mediterranean bathyal suprabenthos is described. It is characterised by the well-developed rostrum; the discrete lateral lobe of head; the elongation of the peduncle segment 3 of the first antenna; the very slender propodus of the second gnathopod, which attains maximum width not at the palm angle, but at about midway along the palm margin; and by the relative length of the carpus of the foregoing limb, sub-equal to propodus. The discovery of a tiny remnant of the 2nd peduncle segment of the first antenna in the new species is commented with regard to the homologation of the peduncle segments in other members of the Family. The new taxon was captured below 593 m over muddy bottoms with pteropod shells and remains of planktonic foraminiferans. It was one of the most common amphipods in the lower slope (below ~ 1000 m), whereas in the depth range comprised between 1250 and 1859 m it was the second dominant species, representing 11.4 % of the total gammarideans captured. The area studied harbours three additional congeneric species, although their populations are mainly concentrated in the upper and middle slope. Over the bottom, adult males of the new species apparently tend to occupy higher levels beyond the water-sediment interface than the rest of demographic categories. The gut content of three individuals revealed a bulk of calcified foraminiferans, a diet in consonance with their massive mandibles. Juvenile individuals were more abundant in winter, whereas adult individuals were clearly dominant in summer, thus suggesting the biological cycle of the species follows some type of periodicity.
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