Abstract of Anamixidae

The following modified abstract is part of a monographic revision of the Anamixidae which will appear in Records of the Australian Museum in Spring, 1997. The names of new taxa are obscured to avoid taxonomic difficulties.


Thirteen new species and one new genus are described in the commensal amphipod family Anamixidae, bringing the total to 33 species in three genera. Thirteen species are recorded from the Pacific Ocean, eight from the Indian Ocean, and 4 from the Caribbean. Developmental stages are documented in four species of Anamixis and one species of a new genus. Developmental stages in this new genus are profoundly different from those of extant genera Anamixis and Paranamixis. All new taxa are fully described and figured. Previously described taxa are reviewed and illustrated when necessary.

The cryptic Anamixidae are found in coral reefs and other hard-bottom shallow tropical waters. An unusual tropical relic of anamixid is described from cold waters in the Bass Straits, Australia. Current species distributions and information probably reflect collecting bias as many areas remain uncollected. At the current rate of describing anamixid taxa, total species should exceed 70+ species as tropical biodiversity studies become more widespread.

Cladistic analysis of the Anamixidae proved informative in the new genus and Anamixis group where adequate specimens of new and existing species was available for examination. Results were less informative for Paranamixis where material was more limited, especially for extant species. These results indicate that thorough and comprehensive character analyses are required to generate reliable phylogenies. Existing descriptions and illustrations are relatively uninformative in light of the current requirements for detailed microstructure information.

Keywords: Anamixidae, amphipods, cladistics, tropical, marine, coral reefs.