Overview

Brief Summary

Remarks: Neobrachylepas relica is the only known surviving member of the Brachylepadomorpha, fossil representatives of which are known from the Jurassic to the Miocene.
  • NEWMAN W.A. & T. YAMAGUCHI (1995) Bull. Mus. natl. Hist. nat., Paris. 4e sér 17A (3-4): 211-243.

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Comprehensive Description

Unfortunately a reproductive population of this species has yet to be discovered, but one would expect its members to occupy much the same situations occupied by Neoverruca brachylepadoformis and Eochionelasmus ohtai because, while perhaps a smaller species, it has essentially the same feeding mechanism and is hermaphroditic. The first and often the second pair of cirri in vent barnacles are antenniform and likely serve in part in orienting the cirral net to currents. However, in Neobrachylepas, the second pair is not only shorter than the first but it apparently functions as maxillipeds. Another unique feature in Neobrachylepas is a median-dorsal appendage on the prosoma that may serve to hold the egg mass in place while brooding, but ovigerous individuals have not been observed.
  • NEWMAN W.A. & T. YAMAGUCHI (1995) Bull. Mus. natl. Hist. nat., Paris. 4e sér 17A (3-4): 211-243.

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Distribution

Lau Back-Arc Basin.
  • NEWMAN W.A. & T. YAMAGUCHI (1995) Bull. Mus. natl. Hist. nat., Paris. 4e sér 17A (3-4): 211-243.

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Physical Description

Morphology

A living representative of the Brachylepadomorpha (U. Jurassic-Miocene), symmetrical sessile barnacles with basal whorls of imbricating plates surrounding a wall consisting of but two principal plates, the rostrum and carina. Neobrachylepas differs from ?Brachylepas in the rl-l-cl tiers of imbricating plates covering the gap between the principal wall plates standing three rather than four plates high (compare to Imbricaverruca in this regard). Distinguished from neolepadines in being sessile and operculate, from neoverrucids in being symmetrical, and from balanomorphs in the operculum including a pair of median latera and the oldest whorl of imbricating plates being basal rather than situated between the younger imbricating whorls and the wall.
  • NEWMAN W.A. & T. YAMAGUCHI (1995) Bull. Mus. natl. Hist. nat., Paris. 4e sér 17A (3-4): 211-243.

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Size

Only a few possibly juvenile or protandric specimens have been collected, suggesting they may have been waifs; that is, the microhabitat of the adult populations likely has yet to be sampled. The largest specimen was mature as a male, but there were no eggs and it was only 6 mm high. It is nonetheless possible this is a small species compared to other vent barnacles.
  • NEWMAN W.A. & T. YAMAGUCHI (1995) Bull. Mus. natl. Hist. nat., Paris. 4e sér 17A (3-4): 211-243.

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Type Information

Paratype for Neobrachylepas relica Newman & Yamaguchi, 1995
Catalog Number: USNM 274137
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Preparation: Slide
Year Collected: 1989
Locality: Hine Hina, Tonga, South Pacific Ocean
Depth (m): 1832 to 1887
Vessel: Nautile DSR/V
  • Paratype:
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology

Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Ecology

Habitat

Depth range based on 5 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 4 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1600 - 2500
  Temperature range (°C): 2.569 - 2.931
  Nitrate (umol/L): 35.857 - 38.344
  Salinity (PPS): 34.581 - 34.631
  Oxygen (ml/l): 2.750 - 3.503
  Phosphate (umol/l): 2.499 - 2.775
  Silicate (umol/l): 99.065 - 134.466

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1600 - 2500

Temperature range (°C): 2.569 - 2.931

Nitrate (umol/L): 35.857 - 38.344

Salinity (PPS): 34.581 - 34.631

Oxygen (ml/l): 2.750 - 3.503

Phosphate (umol/l): 2.499 - 2.775

Silicate (umol/l): 99.065 - 134.466
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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