Populations of three species of the genus Heterocypris: H. margaritae Margalef, 1961, H. antillensis Broodbakker, 1982, and H. punctata Keyser, 1975, sampled in the Caribbean region are studied. (1) An attempt is made to correlate differences in mean carapace length between samples from different islands and within intra-insular samples, with environmental factors. (2) Differences in the ecology of the three species are determined. (3) The distribution of the three species is discussed. (4) Related species are compared. Differences in carapace length appear not to be related with genetic differences, but to be caused by environmental influences. In H. margaritae correlation was found between carapace length and size (as area) of habitat, and in H. antillensis between carapace length and vegetation. Variation in carapace length is probably related with food abundance, pollution and some factors of water chemistry. H. margaritae is a euryhaline species, living in more permanent habitats of medium size, and in subterranean habitats as well. H. antillensis is a freshwater and oligohaline species, living in more temporary, somewhat polluted, open habitats, with a muddy bottom in limestone areas. H. punctata is a mesohaline species, dwelling in larger uncovered waterbodies on limestone, with a mud or sandy mud bottom. H. margaritae has its closest relatives in South America, while H. antillensis and H. punctata seem to have their closest relatives in the southern part of North America.

Bijdragen tot de dierkunde

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Naturalis journals & series

Broodbakker, N. (1983). Amsterdam Expeditions to the West Indian Islands, Report 24. The genus Heterocypris (Crustacea, Ostracoda) in the West Indies. Part II. Carapace length, ecology and zoogeography. Bijdragen tot de dierkunde, 53(1), 115–134.