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Brief Summary

Cumaceans are an order of benthic crustaceans with worldwide distribution. There are about 1400 described species classified into eight families (some scientists recognize a ninth, the Ophthalmdiastylidae), although research on unsorted museum collections indicates described species probably make up only a quarter of the total diversity and that the order includes an estimated 3000-4000 species total. The number of new species of Cumaceans reported in the Mediterranean Sea has steadily increased since 1850 without showing any signs of tailing off, indicating that there are still many species yet undescribed (Anderson 2010; Gerken, 2005).

An excellent online source on the Cumacea is Gary Anderson's Peracarida Taxa and Literature website.

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© Campbell, Dana

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