Alpheus javieri , Anker, Arthur, Hurt, Carla & Knowlton, Nancy, 2009

Anker, Arthur, Hurt, Carla & Knowlton, Nancy, 2009, Description of cryptic taxa within the Alpheus bouvieri A. Milne-Edwards, 1878 and A. hebes Kim and Abele, 1988 species complexes (Crustacea: Decapoda: Alpheidae), Zootaxa 2153, pp. 1-23: 7-10

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.188782

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scientific name

Alpheus javieri

n. sp.

Alpheus javieri  n. sp.

Figs. 2View FIGURE 2, 5View FIGURE 5 C, D

Alpheus Bouvieri  (not sensu Milne-Edwards 1878)— Coutière 1898: 131 (part., specimens from Pacific coast of Panama).

Alpheus bouvieri  (not sensu Milne-Edwards 1878)— Christoffersen 1979: 303 (part., specimens from Eastern Pacific); Kim and Abele 1988: 58, fig. 24; Wicksten and Hendrickx 1992: 4; Ricaurte et al. 1995: 81, 84; Vargas and Cortés 1999: 899; McClure and Wicksten 2000: 966, fig. 2; Wicksten and Hendrickx 2003: 63; McClure 2005: 134 (part., fig. 8 only).

[?] Alpheus bouvieri  (not sensu Milne-Edwards 1878)— Hickman and Zimmerman 2000: 35.

Alpheus leviusculus bouvieri  (not sensu Milne-Edwards 1878)— Christoffersen and Ramos 1988: 63.

Alpheus bouvieri  var. chilensis  (not sensu Coutière 1902)— Schmitt 1924 a: 162.

Type material. Panama (Pacific coast). Holotype: 1 male (CL 8.0), USNM 1123855, Río Mar, rocky intertidal, under rocks and from crevices in rocky reef platform, coll. A. Anker, J. Jara and E. Gómez, 3 Mar 2006 [fcn 06- 300 a]. Paratypes: 1 ovig. female (CL 8.5), USNM 1123856, same collection data as for holotype, mated pair [fcn 06- 300 b]; 1 ovig. female (CL 4.9), USNM 1123857, same collection data as for holotype [fcn 06- 255]; 1 male (CL 6.5), OUMNH-ZC 2006 - 10 -010, same collection data as for holotype [fcn 06- 384]; 1 male (CL 6.0), USNM 1123858, same collection data as for holotype [fcn 06- 258]; 1 male (CL 7.7), 2 ovig. females (CL 7.2, 9.4), USNM 1123859, Panama City, Altos de Diablo, intertidal with some mangroves, under rocks on mud, coll. D. Roche, 20 Feb 2007 [fcn 07-084, male specimen dissected]; 1 ovig. female (CL 7.7), MNHN-Na 17183, about 15 km west of Panama City, rocky intertidal, under rocks, coll. T. Lamy, 1 Jun 2006 [fcn 06- 424]; 1 male, 1 ovig. female (CL not measured), UP, Río Mar, rocky intertidal, in rock crevices, coll. A. Anker, J. Jara and I. Marin, 3 Mar 2006 [fcn 07- 122].

Additional material examined. Panama (Pacific coast). 1 ovig. female (CL 5.8), FLMNH UF Arthropoda 16555, Las Perlas Islands, Saboga, large intertidal rocks, from rock crevices, coll. A. Anker, J. Jara and C. Hurt, 15 Nov 2005 [fcn 05- 148]; 1 ovig. female (CL 5.6), USNM 1123860, Las Perlas Islands, small island off Contadora, rocky intertidal, from crevices in rock platform, coll. A. Anker, C. Hurt, E. Gómez, J. Jara and E. Tóth, 31 Mar 2006 [fcn 06- 368]; 2 females (CL 4.1, 4.8), USNM 1123861, Coiba Marine National Park, Isla Coiba, Ensenada Santa Cruz on NW coast, intertidal mudflat, from perforated wood on mud, coll. A. Anker, J. Jara, E. Gómez, E. Tóth and I. Marin, 21 Mar 2007 [fcn 07-121, 07- 146]; 1 male (CL 6.5), USNM 1123862, Chame Peninsula, Chame Bay estuary, from perforated wood on mud near mangrove, coll. A. Anker and J.A. Vera-Caripe, 7 Nov 2006 [fcn 06- 519, specimen with abnormal (regenerated) chelipeds]; 1 specimen (sex and CL not determined), Panama City, Amador causeway, Naos, Punta Culebra, rocky intertidal, under rocks, coll. A. Anker and C. Hurt, 2 Mar 2006 [fcn 06- 253, specimen in RNAlater, not deposited].

Costa Rica (Pacific coast). 1 male (CL 6.1), USNM 1123863, Punta Morales, intertidal, under rocks on sand-mud near mangroves, coll. A. Anker, 22 Nov 2005 [fcn 05- 147]; 1 specimen (sex and CL not determined), Nicoya Peninsula, Curu, rock-sand intertidal, on sand under rock, coll. A. Anker, 25 Nov 2005 [fcn 05-018, specimen in RNAlater, not deposited, photograph available].

Diagnosis. Species of Alpheus leviusculus  group (Clade L). Frontal margin of carapace with distinct, short, narrow, distally acute rostrum; rostral carina well marked, extending to level of eyes, gradually flattening; orbital hoods unarmed, rounded, swollen, gently sloping into shallow orbitorostral grooves. Antennule with second peduncular segment less than twice as long as wide; stylocerite with acute tip, reaching distal margin of first segment. Antenna with basicerite armed with sharp distoventral tooth; scaphocerite with strong distolateral tooth extending well beyond broad blade, reaching end of antennular peduncle; carpocerite overreaching both scaphocerite and end of antennular peduncle. Third maxilliped not particularly broadened, unarmed. Major cheliped with merus lacking sharp distomesial tooth; chela somewhat compressed, dorsal groove relatively broad, deep, extending mesially as contrasting rounded depression and laterally as well defined, posteriorly extending groove; dorsal shoulder rounded, not overhanging; ventral groove broad and deep, adjacent shoulder rounded, slightly protruding; adhesive disks small; fingers about half-length of palm; plunger of dactylus well developed. Minor cheliped sexually dimorphic; palm without grooves or notches in both sexes; fingers somewhat broadened, balaeniceps in males, subconical and nonbalaeniceps in females. Second pereiopod with first carpal segment nearly twice as long as second. Third pereiopod with unarmed ischium, merus and carpus; propodus with row of stout, often brown-colored spines, most in pairs; dactylus stout, simple, conical. Male second pleopod with typical appendices masculina and interna. Uropod with protopod laterally projecting as acute tooth; exopod with distolateral spine bordered laterally by sharp distolateral tooth; transverse suture sinuous, consisting of two rounded lobes and subtriangular tooth adjacent to distolateral spine; both exopod and endopod furnished with row of spinules distally. Telson broad, tapering distally, with two pairs of dorsal spines; posterior margin slightly convex, with two pairs of spines at each posterolateral angle.

Description. See Kim and Abele (1988) and McClure and Wicksten (2000), both as Alpheus bouvieri  . Complementary figures are provided in Fig. 2View FIGURE 2.

Size. Largest male, holotype at CL 8.0 mm and TL 22.7 mm; largest female at CL 9.4 mm and 28.8 TL mm; egg size: about 0.5 x 0.6 mm (average from 3 eggs from largest ovigerous female).

Color pattern. Opaque-whitish with broad transverse bands varying from blue-green to brown-green (combination of gray-blue and red chromatophores), two on carapace and one along posterior half of each pleomere; uropods and telson white proximally, blue-green distally; walking legs semitransparent with red chromatophores; minor chela green or greenish-brown; major chela olive-green or blue-green mesially, without well marked whitish patch ventroproximally; dorsal and ventral grooves paler brown; distal half of pollex and dactylus whitish or pink; rostrum and rostral carina region brown-green; antennular peduncles green-brown; scaphocerite of antenna with green lateral margin and distolateral tooth; antennal and antennular flagella pale yellow; eggs or ovaries in females yolk-yellow ( Fig. 5View FIGURE 5 C, D). See also color description in McClure and Wicksten (2000). Color photograph of “ A. bouvieri  ” from Galapagos ( Hickman and Zimmerman 2000, p. 35) is probabaly not A. javieri  n. sp. (see remarks below).

Etymology. The species is named after our friend and colleague, Javier Jara (Naos, STRI), for his invaluable help in field trips and preparation of manuscripts.

Type locality. Río Mar (80 km west of Panama City) and vicinity of Panama City, Pacific coast of Panama.

Distribution. Eastern Pacific: Costa Rica; Panama; Colombia; Galapagos ( Kim and Abele 1988; Christoffersen and Ramos 1988; McClure and Wicksten 2000; present study).

Ecology. Intertidal and shallow subtidal, probably to at least 5 m; rocky and mixed sand-rock bottoms, under rocks and in rock crevices, apparently capable of boring tunnels into hard rocks using its major cheliped ( Ricaurte et al. 1995); also in estuaries and mangroves, under rocks or debris in muddy sand or mud, sometimes in or under perforated chunks of wood (e.g., specimens from Chame Bay and Coiba in present study); usually encountered in male-female pairs; feeds mostly on algae growing on burrow walls ( Ricaurte et al. 1995).

Remarks. Alpheus javieri  n. sp. differs from its closest relative, A. bouvieri  , by the slightly narrower and deeper dorsal groove on the palm of the major chela (compare Figs. 1View FIGURE 1 B, C and 2 B, C) and the slightly shorter first carpal segment in the second pereiopod (compare Figs. 1View FIGURE 1 F and 2 F). Furthermore, in A. javieri  n. sp., the spines on the propodus of the third and fourth pereiopods are often tan or brown-colored ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 G), whereas in A. bouvieri  , these spines are typically uncolored (cf. Fig. 1View FIGURE 1 G). The color patterns of the two species are very similar ( Fig. 5View FIGURE 5 A –D), although in A. javieri  n. sp., the pale patch on the mesial face of the major chela appears to be less marked compared to that in A. bouvieri  .

Hickman and Zimmerman (2000) provided two color photographs of a shrimp from Galapagos identified as “ Alpheus bouvieri  ”. The color pattern of this individual somewhat differs from that of Panamanian specimens ( A. javieri  n. sp.), especially in that the bands on the abdomen are broader and also more brown, giving the shrimp an almost uniform brownish appearance. Hickman and Zimmerman (2000) also noted that the specimens from Galapagos rarely exceeded 11 mm TL, whereas specimens elsewhere may reach 19 mm TL. These observations suggest that “ A. bouvieri  ” of Hickman and Zimmerman (2000) may not be the same species as A. javieri  n. sp. ( A. bouvieri sensu Kim and Abele 1988  ). Only a careful reexamination of Galapagos material will allow to resolve this uncertainty.

In the tropical eastern Pacific, A. javieri  n. sp. may be confused with A. hebes  and A. longinquus  , but it can be distinguished from the first species by the absence of a spine on the ischium of the third and fourth pereiopods, and from the second by the relatively shorter palm of the major chela and the presence of balaeniceps setae on the minor chela in males (see also Kim and Abele 1988).

GenBank access number. FJ013871View Materials (fcn 06-521, 206572324 5 '), FJ013870View Materials (fcn 06-520, 206572322 5 '), FJ013869View Materials (fcn 06-253, 206572320, 5 '), FJ013868View Materials (fcn 05-008, 206572318 5 ').


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Florida Museum of Natural History














Alpheus javieri

Anker, Arthur, Hurt, Carla & Knowlton, Nancy 2009

Alpheus leviusculus bouvieri

Christoffersen 1988: 63

Alpheus bouvieri

McClure 2005: 134
Wicksten 2003: 63
McClure 2000: 966
Vargas 1999: 899
Ricaurte 1995: 81
Wicksten 1992: 4
Kim 1988: 58
Christoffersen 1979: 303

Alpheus bouvieri

Schmitt 1924: 162


Coutiere 1898: 131