Mictacea: Species

J.K. Lowry & M. Yerman

Division of Invertebrate Zoology
Australian Museum
6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
Phone: 612 9320 6260
Fax: 612 9320 6050


The most recent order of crustaceans, Mictacea, was revealed in 1985 by Sanders, Hessler & Garner (1985) and Bowman & Iliffe (1985). The presense of oostegites placed them in the Peracarida. Mictaceans were further characterised by a number of the characters which included fusion of the head with the first thoracic segment or pereonite; eyes, when present, stalked; pereopods 1-5 or 2-6 with epipods and without branchiae; male pleopod 2 modified; uropodal rami multisegmented;� presence of a manca larva.

Hirsutia bathyalis Saunders, Hessler & Garner, 1985 was orginally described from bathyal depths in the western Atlantic Ocean off Suriname and placed in the family Hursutiidae. Mictocaris haplope Bowman & Iliffe, 1985 was described from an anchialine cave in Bermuda, also in the western North Atlantic and placed in the Mictocarididae. Soon after Just & Poore (1988) described a second species of Hirsutia (H. saundersetalia Just & Poore, 1988) from bathyal depths off south-eastern Australia in the western South Pacific Ocean.

Recently Gutu & Iliffe, 1998 described a second genus, Thetispelecaris, in the Hursutiidae for an anchialine and submarine cave species (T. remex Gutu & Iliffe, 1998) living in the Bahamas. Ohtsuku, Hanamura & Kase (2002) then described T. yurigako from a shallow-water submarine cave in the Grand Cayman Island, Caribbean Sea.

Gutu & Iliffe (1998) proposed a new order, Bochusacea, for the Hursutiidae. Gutu (1998) proposed an additional order, Cosinzeneacea, to include the suborders Mictacea and Spelaeogriphacea.

The main reason for establishing the Bochusacea appears to be the homoloty of structures at the base of the legs of hursutiids which have been interpreted as temorary oostegites or as permanenet epipods (Gutu & Iliffe, 1998). For Gutu & Iliffe (1998) the Hursutiidae did not have classical female oostegites which temporarily form to hold eggs in place, but permenent epipodites used to hold eggs, and also possibly for respiration and current movements. There is also confusion over the number of thoracic segments fused to the head (Gutu, 2001, believes there are two) and whether there is one or two (Gutu, 2001) pairs of maxillipeds.

If these structures at the base of the legs are not homologous with peracaridan oostegites then the Bochusacea cannot be placed in the Peracarida.

Gutu (1998) suggested that the large number of similarities (28 characters) between Mictocarididae and the Spelaeogriphacidae indicated that the two groups should form a separate order which he called the Cosinzeneacea with two suborders, the Mictacea and the Spelaeogriphacea.

Considering the debates over the monophyly of the Peracarida (Watling, 1981, 1983) and the confusion over interpretations of morpholgy within the Hursutiidae, these realigments of Gutu & Iliffe (1998) and Gutu (1998; 2001) need a rigourous phylognetic analysis before they are accepted.

Monographs Monograph and Interactive Keys Interactive Key

Mictacea Species

Monograph Interactive Key

bathyalis, Hirsutia

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

halope, Mictocaris

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

saundersetalia, Hirsutia

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

remex, Thetispelecaris

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

yurigako, Thetispelecaris

Monograph Interactive Key (not available)

Cite this publication as: Lowry, J.K. & M. Yerman (2002 onwards). 'Mictacea: Species.' Version: 2 October 2002. https://crustacea.net/.