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African Natural History

On-line version ISSN 2305-7963
Print version ISSN 1816-8396

Afr. nat. history (Online) vol.5  Cape Town Jan. 2009


The genus Anisomysis (Crustacea: Mysidae) from the east coast of South Africa - descriptions of three new species, and range extensions of two known species



Allan D. Connell

South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity, Private Bag 1015, Grahamstown, 6140 South Africa. E-mail:




Three new species of Mysidae, of the genus Anisomysis, are described. Two of these, Anisomysis (Anisomysis) pescaprae sp. nov. and A. (Anisomysis) neptuni sp. nov., were collected on reef in at a depth of 20-40 m, within the Aliwal Shoal Marine Protected Area, about 60 km south of Durban on the KwaZulu-Natal shelf. Both belong to the subgenus Anisomysis, and each possesses a uniquely shaped telson which immediately identifies the species. In shallow, sheltered waters adjacent to the derelict and partly submerged Vetch's Pier in the southern corner of the Durban beachfront, the third new species, Anisomysis (Paranisomysis) sudafricana sp. nov., was found in small shoals. It is closely related to A. (Paranisomysis) arabica Wooldridge & Victor, 1994, and A. (Paranisomysis) marisrubri Bacescu, 1973, but can be separated from these two species by the more elongate and acutely pointed rostrum, as well as detail of the telson, mandibular palp and male fourth pleopod. Anisomysis vasseuri Ledoyer, 1974, previously known from Tuléar on the southwestern coast of Madagascar, and the Comores Islands in the Mozambique Channel, was found in close association with A. pescaprae and A. neptuni on the Aliwal Shoal. All three species from the Aliwal Shoal were encountered in large shoals, at times covering several cubic metres over the reef. The known distribution of Anisomysis (Anisomysis) hanseni Nouvel, 1967, originally described from Nosy-Bé, off the northwest coast of Madagascar, is extended to the partly submerged island reef of Bassas da India in the Mozambique Channel, where it was found in small shoals among coral heads in the shallow lagoon.

Keywords: Anisomysis, Paranisomysis, shelf waters, Western Indian Ocean, Aliwal Shoal, Mysidae.


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Received 28 October 2008
Accepted 1 July 2009

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