Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

A new species of Rimicaris (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea: Alvinocarididae) from hydrothermal vent fields on the Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre, Caribbean

Verity Nyea1 c1, Jon Copleya1 and Sophie Plouvieza2

a1 Ocean & Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton, University of Southampton Waterfront Campus, European Way, Southampton, SO14 3ZH, UK

a2 Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University Marine Laboratory, 135, Duke Marine Lab Road, Beaufort, NC 28516, USA


Rimicaris hybisae sp. nov. is described from hydrothermal vent fields on the world's deepest seafloor spreading centre, the Mid-Cayman Spreading Centre (MCSC), Caribbean, at depths of 2300–4960 m. The new species is described and illustrated on the basis of 17 specimens. Brief notes on the distribution and habitat of the new species are provided. Molecular phylogenetic data from mitochondrial COI (460 base pair (bp)), 16S ribosomal RNA (549 bp) and nuclear 18S ribosomal RNA (576 bp) regions is used to complement the description. Morphological variation within R. hybisae sp. nov. and morphological affinities with previously described species are discussed. Based on morphological and molecular evidence, the new species is provisionally assigned to the genus Rimicaris, and differs from all known species in the genus by a distinctive pair of ‘pores' on the posterior lobes of its four-lobed dorsal organ. An emended diagnosis for Rimicaris is provided. Rimicaris hybisae sp. nov. is the first taxon to be described from MCSC vent fields. This record extends the known geographical range of Rimicaris into the Caribbean Sea and constitutes the deepest documented occurrence of alvinocaridid shrimp.

(Received October 19 2011)

(Accepted October 30 2011)

(Online publication December 14 2011)