Remipedia is a recently described new class , including the most primitive crustaceans ( at present including two orders (Nectiopoda; Enantiopoda with only carboniferous fossils) and more than 20 species. The order Nectiopoda includes three families: Speleonectidae Yager, 1981, composed of thirteen species in four genera (Cryptocorynetes Yager, 1987, Kaloketos Koenemann et al., 2004, Lasionectes Yager & Schram, 1986, Speleonectes Yager, 1981), Godzilliidae Schram, Yager & Emerson, 1986, with three species in three genera (Godzilliognomus Yager, 1989, Godzillius Schram, Yager, Emerson, 1986, Pleomothra Yager, 1989), and Micropacteridae Koenemann et al. (2007a), with the monotypic genus Micropacter.

"These creatures were discovered over the years by scientists who made it their life's work and to great advances in technology sales." (

Remipedes are hermaphroditic crustaceans that are exclusively known from anchialine, coastal cave systems, i.e., caves connected with sea water via cracks, tunnels or tubes.

All currently recognized taxa occur in tropical or subtropical environments in the Caribbean region (13 species), Western Australian (1 species) and the Canary Islands (1 species) [from: Koenemann et al., 2004] (

The greater Caribbean region, including the Yucatan Peninsula, is characterized by a high and relatively dense taxonomic diversity of Remipedia. For example, several cave systems on the Bahamas Islands are inhabited by sympatric remipedes, with up to six species and three genera (Koenemann et al., 2003; unpublished data). The first remipede was discovered in a cave on the Bahamas Islands (Yager, 1981). Between 1981 and 2003, 14 new remipedes were discovered, all of which inhabit anchialine caves. At present, there are two families, the Godzilliidae Schram, Yager & Emerson, 1986, with three monotypic genera, and the Speleonectidae Yager, 1981, composed of nine species in three genera.

They are free-swimming, troglobitic crustaceans, typically living in low-oxygen, brackish waters in marine caves; particularly they are widely distributed in anchialine habitats linked to the ancient Tethys Sea (West Indies, Bahamas, Mexico, Cuba, Canary Islands, Cape Range Peninsula, Western Australia).

"Among the diversity of crustacean body plans, the class Remipedia is indeed a ‘class apart’ distinguished by a set of unique features. Remipedes are hermaphroditic crustaceans that occur exclusively in subterranean marine environments.

The head region of these stygobionts is armed with three pairs of powerful, raptorial limbs. However, it is their long, homonomously segmented trunk bearing biramous, paddle-shaped appendages (Fig. 1A) that has led to the prevalent view that remipedes are primitive crustaceans, although this assumption has not yet been veri.ed or falsi.ed convincingly.

For example, the results of our ongoing ‘basal’ crustaceans (Schram and Koenemann 2004). Recent comparative studies of cerebral structures in arthropods suggest a sister-group relationship between Malacostraca and Remipedia (Fanenbruck et al. 2004; Harzsch 2004).

It certainly adds to the fascination of remipede crustaceans that this group is relatively new to science. The first remipede was discovered in an anchialine cave on the Bahamas Islands (Yager 1981).

Between 1980 and 2005, 17 more remipedes have been discovered, including a new family (Koenemann et al. 2007)" (from: Koenemann, Schram, Honemann & Iliffe, 2007).


  • Speleonectes atlantida Koenemann et al., 2009 [canary Islands]
  • Speleonectes lucayensis Yager, 1981 [Bahamas]
  • Speleonectes epilimnius Yager & Carpenter, 1999 [Bahamas.San Salvador Island: Major’s Cave ]
  • Speleonectes benjamini Yager, 1987 [Bahamas]
  • Speleonectes emersoni Lorentzen et al., 2007 [Dominican republic;anchialine caves]
  • Speleonectes kakuki Daenekas et al., 2009 [Bahamas; anchialine and sub-seafloor caves] [PDF]
  • Speleonectes ondinae (Garcia-Valdecasas, 1985) [Canary Islands]
  • Speleonectes tulumensis Yager, 1987 [Mexico]
  • Speleonectes tanumekes Koenemann, Iliffe & van der Ham, 2003 [Bahamas] [PDF]
  • Speleonectes parabenjamini Koenemann, Iliffe & van der Ham, 2003 [Bahamas] [PDF]
  • Speleonectes minnsi Koenemann, Iliffe & van der Ham, 2003 [Bahamas]
  • Speleonectes gironensis Yager, 1994 [Cuba]

  • Lasionectes entrichoma Yager & Schram, 1986 [West Indies]
  • Lasionectes exleyi Yager & Humphreys, 1996 [Western Australia]

  • Kaloketos pilosus Koenemann et al., 2004. [Turks and Caicos Islands – North Caicos Island: Cottage Pond] [PDF]

  • Cryptocorynetes haptodiscus Yager, 1987 [Bahamas] [PDF]
  • Cryptocorynetes longulus Wollermann, Koenemann & Iliffe, 2007 [Bahamas] [PDF]

    Speleonectes gironensis (Cuba)
    © Abel Perez Gonzales

    GODZILLIIDAE Schram, Yager & Emerson, 1986

  • Godzillius robustus Schram, Yager & Emerson, 1986 [West Indies, Bahamas]

  • Godzilliognomus frondosus Yager, 1989 [Bahamas]

  • Pleomothra apletocheles Yager, 1989 [Bahamas]
  • Pleomothra fragilis Koenemann et al., 2008 [Bahamas; ancjhialine caves] [PDF]

    MICROPACTERIDAE Koenemann. Iliffe & van der Ham, 2007 [PDF]

  • Micropacter yagerae Koenemann. Iliffe & van der Ham, 2007 [Turks and Caicos Islands] [PDF]


    (from: World Register of Marine Species)


    Koenemann, S., Iliffe, T.M., van der Ham, J., 2003. Three new species of remipede crustaceans (Speleonectidae) from Great Exuma, Bahamas Islands. Smithson. Contrib. Zool. 72, 227–252.

    Koenemann, S., Iliffe, T.M., Yager, J., 2004. Kaloketos pilosus, a new genus and species of Remipedia (Crustacea) from the Turks and Caicos Islands. Zootaxa 618, 1–12.

    Koenemann et al. 2009. A new, disjunct species of Speleonectes (Remipedia, Crustacea) from the Canary Islands. Marine Biodiversity, 2009

    Koenemann, S., Iliffe, T.M., van der Ham, J., 2007. Micropacteridae, a new family of Remipedia (Crustacea) from the Turks and Caicos Islands. Org. Divers. Evol. 7, 52–54.

    Schram, F.R., 1983. Remipedia and crustacean phylogeny. Crust. Issues 1, 23–28.

    Schram, F.R., Yager, J., Emerson, M.J., 1986. Remipedia, part 1: systematics. Proc. Mem. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 15, 1–60.

    Yager, J., 1981. A new class of Crustacea from a marine cave in the Bahamas. J. Crustacean Biol. 1, 328–333.

    Daenekas J., , T. Iliffe, J. Yager & S. Koenemann. 2009. Speleonectes kakuki, a new species of Remipedia (Crustacea) from anchialine and sub-seafloor caves on Andros and Cat Island, Bahamas. Zootaxa 2016: 51–66

    Yager, Jill. 1981. Remipedia, a new class of crustacea from a marine cave in the Bahamas.J. Crust. Biol., 1 (3): 328-333.

    Yager, J.. 1989. Pleomothra apletocheles and Godzilliognomus frondosus, two new genera and species of remipede crustaceans (Godzilliidae) from anchialine caves of the Bahamas. Bulletin of Marine Science, 44(3):1195-1206.

    Yager, J. 1991. The remipedia (Crustacea): recent investigations of their biology and phylogeny. Verh. Dtsch. Zool. Ges., 84: 261-269.

    Yager, J. 1991. The biology of the crustacean class Remipedia, with emphasis on internal anatomy. Proc. of the National Speleological Society Annual Meeting, July 1991; in: NSS Bull. Vol.53 Nr.2 (publ. 1992):113.

    Yager, J., Carpenter, J.H., 1999. Speleonectes epilimnius new species (Remipedia, Speleonectidae) from surface waters of an anchialine cave on San Salvador Island, Bahamas. Crustaceana 72, 965–977.

    Yager, J., Schram, F.R., 1986. Lasionectes entrichoma, n. gen., n. sp. (Crustacea, Remipedia) from anchialine caves in the Turks and Caicos, B.W.I. Proc. Biol. Wash. Soc. 99, 65–70.

    Yager J. & W. F. Humphreys. 1996. Lasionectes exleyi, sp. nov., the First Remipede Crustacean Recorded from Australia and the Indian Ocean, with a Key to the World Species. Invertebrate Taxonomy, 10: 171-187


  • Anchialine Fauna of the Bahamas by T.E. Iliffe





  • Image on the left top : Speleonectes tulumensis (Mexico)
    © Dennis Williams


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