Alpheus arenensis is an eastern Pacific snapping shrimp. Originally described as Crangon arenensis by Chace (1937), Wicksten (1983) synonomized A. arenensis with A. websteri. However, subsequent genetic work (Williams et al. 2001) and a taxonomic revision of the group (Anker et al. 2008) suggest it is a distinct species. For more details, see Knowlton et al. 2008, http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/alpheus/Alpheus_Template.php?....
Systematics and Identification
Alpheus arenensis belongs to the Sulcatus species group within the genus Alpheus (Anker et al. 2008). Originally described as Crangon arenensis by Chace (1937), Wicksten (1983) synonomized A. arenensis with A. websteri. However, subsequent genetic work (Williams et al. 2001) and a taxonomic revision of the group (Anker et al. 2008) suggest it is a distinct species. Type locality: Arena Bank, Gulf of California, Mexico (Chace 1937).
Crangon arenensis (Chace, 1937); Alpheus websteri (not sensu Kingsley 1880; sensu Wicksten 1983, Wicksten and Hendrickx 1985, Kim and Abele 1988, Villalobos Hiriart et al. 1989, Wicksten and Hendrickx 1992, Wicksten 1993, Hendrickx 1995, Salazar-Rosas 1995, Camacho 1996, Vargas & Cortes 1999, Villalobos 2000, Wicksten and Hendrickx 2003 in part, McClure 2005). For detailed list, see Anker et al. 2008.
Eastern Pacific: central and southern Gulf of California, Mexico (Chace 1937, Wicksten 1983, Wicksten and Hendrickx 2003); Costa Rica and Panama (Kim and Abele 1988, Anker et al. 2008); Colombia (Wicksten 1983); Galapagos (Wicksten and Hendrickx 2003).
Maximum body size (carapace length, or CL) is 9.7 mm (Anker et al. 2008). Color: body background cream-colored or pale grey, with several brown transverse bands; major chela pale brown with dark brown spots on distal half, distal end pink (for more details, see Anker et al. 2008). Closely related to A. websteri, A. fagei. A. arenensis can be differentiated from A. websteri by the relatively smaller tooth on the merus of the major cheliped, and can be distinguished from A. fagei by the longer ventrolateral tooth of the antennal basicerite; all three species differ subtly in color pattern (see Anker et al. 2008, http://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/bioinformatics/alpheus/Alpheus_Template.php?... for more details).
Habitat and Host Associations
A. arenensis lives in the intertidal and shallow subtidal, to about 6 m depth, and can be found in crevices or rocks and under coral rubble, on sand or mixed sand-coral bottoms (Wicksten 1983, Anker et al. 2008).
Evolution and Systematics
Snapping shrimp in the genus Alpheus have been a model system for studying molecular divergence in "transisthmian" taxa that diverged following the closure of the Isthmus of Panama. Alpheus arenensis occurs in the eastern Pacific, and is morphologically and genetically similar to Alpheus websteri from the West Atlantic; estimates of divergence based on genetic sequence variation suggest that this transisthmian species pair was isolated ~ 6 mya (Anker et al. 2008).
Sequenced in Williams et al. 2001, Anker et al. 2008; sequences available in GenBank for COI (EU339466).
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