Articles | Volume 23, issue 1
01 May 2004
 | 01 May 2004

A taxonomic and distributional survey of marine benthonic Ostracoda off Kerguelen and Heard Islands, South Indian Ocean

Michael A. Ayress, Patrick De Deckker, and Graham P. Coles

Abstract. From an examination of 34 grab and dredge samples ranging from 110 m to 3584 m water depth, collected during Eltanin cruise 47 across the Kerguelen Plateau, 26 shallow-water and 35 deep-sea benthonic ostracod species have been identified. Systematic notes and illustrations of the common and some of the rare species are presented. Two new species are described: Philoneptunus cassidyi n. sp. and Taracythere abyssora n. sp. Comparisons made with the Atlantic and SW Pacific Oceans and circum-Antarctic regions indicate that the fauna comprises dominantly cosmopolitan deep-sea species while most of the other species have close affinities with the SW Pacific. In the Kerguelen material, seven distinct depth assemblages appear to correspond well with differing watermasses and there is evidence that the relatively shallow position of Antarctic Intermediate Water permits elevation of the upper depth limits of some deep-sea species. Some species have developed ornament of fine reticulation, features not previously seen in those species outside the Kerguelen region.