The morphology and systematic affinities of Danielopolina sp. cf. D. kornickeri from Christmas Island, an isolated seamount in the Indian Ocean, are reassessed with the aid of new material including a juvenile male. The species is formally described as Danielopolina (Humphreysella) baltanasi sp. n., which places the species in a separate subgenus to Danielopolina (Danielopolina) kornickeri from northwest Australia, the only other member of the genus in the Indian Ocean. In addition, the only deep-sea member of the genus, D. carolynae from the mid-Atlantic, a putative colonizer of seamounts, belongs to the subgenus Danielopolina. These findings compound theories on the distribution and dispersal of anchialine faunas. A coherent programme of molecular phylogenetic research and historical biogeographical analysis is needed to further enquiry into the enigmatic distribution of the anchialine faunas of both isolated sea mounts and epicontinental waters. Owing to the scarcity of anchialine fauna and the difficulty of access of their habitat, a global effort will be required to assemble the required specimens.
|Published - 2009