Meeting Abstract

P2.11  Thursday, Jan. 5  Marine Meiofauna of Little Cayman Island with a focus on Gastrotricha HOCHBERG, Rick*; ATHERTON, Sarah; KIENEKE, Alexander; ROTHE, Birgen; THACKER, Cheryl; GOUGE, Daniel; Univ. Massachusetts Lowell; Univ. Massachusetts Lowell; Senckenberg Forschunginstitut und Naturmuseum; Universitat Hamburg; University of Florida; University of Florida rick_hochberg@uml.edu

Surveys of littoral and sublittoral sediments from diverse marine environments around Little Cayman Island have produced the first records of marine meiofauna from one of the most remote West Indian islands in the central Caribbean province. Forty six stations ranging from littoral to 40m depth produced records of 11 phyla. Gastrotricha, our focus taxon, included more than 20 putative morphospecies from nine genera (6 Macrodasyida, 3 Chaetonotida) representing six families. Six previously described morphospecies were present at several stations: Aspidiophorus paramediterraneus, A. tentaculatus, Chaetonotus dispar, Macrodasys achradocytalis, Paraturbanella pacifica and Urodasys viviparous. Sampling was purely qualitative, but general estimates indicate that species from two genera dominate the gastrotrich fauna of Little Cayman: Macrodasys and Aspidiophorus. In addition to new geographic records of Gastrotricha, we provide the first general survey of meiofauna from Little Cayman including new records for the following taxa: Acoela (Acoelomorpha), Acochlidia (Mollusca: Opisthobranchia), Annelida (Nerillidae, Protodrillidae, Syllidae), Gnathostomula (Gnathostomulida), Halammohydra (Cnidaria: Actinulida), Echinoderes (Kinorhyncha), Gyratrix cf hermaphroditus and several higher taxa of Platyhelminthes (Kalyptorhynchia, Macrostomida, Proseriata, Tricladida, “Typhloplanoida”), Platyhedyle (Mollusca: Sacoglossa), Neomeniomorpha (Mollusca), Nermetillina (Nemertea), Rotaria (Rotifera: Bdelloidea) and Tardigrada.