Contributions to Zoology, 68 (4) (2000)Damià Jaume; Joan E Cartes; Geoffrey A. Boxshal: Shallow-water and not deep-sea as most plausible origin for cave-dwelling Paramisophria species (Copepoda: Calanoida: Arietellidae), with description of three new species from Mediterranean bathyal hyperbenthos and littoral caves

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Three new species of the hyperbenthic calanoid copepod genus Paramisophria T. Scott are described from the Spanish zone of the Mediterranean. They apparently exhibit there an allopatric depth zonation pattern from littoral caves to bathyal floors in excess of 1200 m. The presence of these highly adapted hyperbenthic taxa in deep waters of the Mediterranean demonstrates the existence there of a specific near-bottom calanoid community similar to that described for the rest of the world oceans. The discovery of deep-water Paramisophria species has stimulated the investigation of the pattern of habitat utilization in the genus and an attempt to identify its ancestral habitat. This analysis supports a shallow-water origin, with taxa from both anchialine caves and the bathyal hyperbenthos having apparently been derived independently and repeatedly from a shallow-water ancestral stem.