Thermosbaenacans are tethyan relicts widely distributed in different groundwater habitats over the World. Their distribution area fall within the coastal lines of the ancient Tethys belt, the 34 species so far known distributed in areas once covered by the shallow Tethys sea or its coast lines. Stock (1976) suggested the possibility of a more recent colonization for some Halosbaena species.

Recently Wagner (1994) reviewed this group of remarkable stygobitic crustaceans, subdividing them in four families: Thermosbaenidae, Monodellidae, Tulumellidae and Halosbaenidae.


Thermosbaena mirabilis Monod, 1924 [Tunisie;thermal springs]

MONODELLIDAE Taramelli, 1924

Monodella stygicola Ruffo, 1949 [South Italy; anchialine cave, and phreatic waters]

Tethysbaena aiakos Wagner, 1994 [Greece; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena argentarii (Stella, 1951) [Italy; cave waters] *
Tethysbaena atlantomaroccana (Boutin & Cals, 1985) [Morocco; wells]
Tethysbaena calsi Wagner, 1994 [British Virgin Islands; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena colubrae Wagner, 1994 [Puerto Rico; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena coqui Wagner, 1994 [Puerto Rico; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena gaweini Wagner, 1994 [Cuba; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena haitiensis Wagner, 1994 [Cuba; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena halophila (S.L. Karaman, 1953) [Croatia; cave waters]
Tethysbaena juglandis Wagner, 1994 [Haiti; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena juriaani Wagner, 1994 [Cuba; pliocenic coralligenous deposits]
Tethysbaena lazarei Wagner, 1994 [Cuba; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena relicta (Por, 1962) [Israel; thermo-mineral spring]
Tethysbaena sanctaecrucis (Stock, 1976) [British Virgin Islands; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena scabra (Pretus, 1991) [Balearic Islands, Spain; cave waters]
Tethysbaena scitula Wagner, 1994 [British Virgin Islands; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena siracusae Wagner, 1994 [Italy, Sicily; wells]
Tethysbaena stocki Wagner, 1994 [British Virgin Islands; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena somala (Chelazzi & Messana, 1982) [Somalia; wells]
Tethysbaena tarsiensis Wagner, 1994 [Spain; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena texana (Maguire, 1965) [U.S.A., texas; artesian wells]
Tethysbaena tinima Wagner, 1994 [Cuba; phreatic waters]
Tethysbaena vinabayesi Wagner, 1994 [Cuba; cave waters]

Wagner (1994) reported this species only from Italy (Monte Argentario cave, Tuscany); Bou (1975) and Pesce & Maggi (1983) reported it also from Greece (caves and wells in Peloponnesus).


Tulumella bahamensis Yager, 1988 [Bahamas; cave waters]
Tulumella grandis Yager, 1988 [Bahamas; cave waters]
Tulumella unidens Bowman & Iliffe, 1988 [Mexico; cenotes]

HALOSBAENIDAE Monod & Cals, 1988

Limnosbaena finki Mestrov & Lattinger-Penko, 1969 [Bosnia-Hercegovina; North Italy; hyporheic]

Halosbaena acanthura Stock, 1976 [Venezuela; Curacao; coral debris and interstitial]
Halosbaena fortunata Bowman & Iliffe, 1986 [Canary islands; cave waters]
Halosbaena tulki Poore & Humphreys, 1992 [West-Australia; cave waters]

Theosbaena cambodjiana Cals & Boutin, 1985 [Cambodia; cave waters]


Bowman, T.E. & T.M. Iliffe.1986. Halosbaena fortunata, a new thermosbaenacean crustacean from the Jameos del Agua marine lava cave, Lanzarote, Canary Islands. Stygologia, 2:84-89.

Bowman, T.E. and T.M. Iliffe. 1988. Tulumella unidens, a new genus and species of thermosbaenacean crustacean from the Yucatan Penninsula, Mexico. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 101(1): 221-226, 2 figures.

Fornos, J. J. Pretus, & M. Trias. 1989. La Cova de sa Gleda (Manacor, Mallorca), aspectes geologics i biologics. - Endins N.° 14-15 : 53-59 (Engl. summ., rés. franç.).

Fryer, G. 1964. Studies on the functional morphology and feeding mechanisms of Monodella argentarii Stella (Crustacea: Thermosbaenacea). Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 66: 49-90.

Mestrov, M. & Lattinger-Penko, R. 1969). Sur la presence de Thermosbaenaces (Crustacea, Pericarida) dans les eaux interstitielles continentales de la Yugoslavie (Monodella finki n.sp.). Annales sp‚l‚ol., 24, (1), 111-123.

Mestrov, M. &t Ph. Cals. 1991. Redescription de Limnosbaena finki (Mestrov et Lattinger - Penko, 1969), Crustace thermosbaenace continental de Jougoslavie, et redefinition du genre Limnosbaena Stock, 1976. Stygologia, 6(1): 41 - 51.

Poore G.C.B. & W.F. Humphreys. 1992. First record of Thermosbaenacea (Crustacea) from the Outhern Hemisphere: a new species from cave in Tropical Western Australia. Invertebr. Taxon., 6: 719-725.

Stock J. H. Thermosbaenacea. In: STYGOFAUNA MUNDI: A Faunistic, Distributional, and Ecological Synthesis of the World Fauna inhabiting Subterranean Waters (including the marine interstitial). L. Botosaneanu ed. Leiden, The Netherland - E.J. Brill / Dr. W. Backhuys. 1986

Wagner H.P. 1994. A monographic review of the Thermosbaenacea (Crustacea: Peracarida): A study on their morphology, taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography. Zoologische Verhandelingen (Leiden). 291:3-338.


  • Thermosbaenaceans from the Caribbean
  • Thermosbaenaceans from Italy

    Copyright © 1999-2013 G.L.Pesce - All Rights Reserved. Text and images on this website may not be
    redistributed or put as part of any collection (image archives, CDs etc) without prior written permission

    | PAGE UPDATE JANUARY 30. 2013 |