Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

<I>Anaspides tasmaniae</I> [from Calman 1911]

Anaspides tasmaniae [from Calman 1911]


Regional Maps

Superorder SYNCARIDA Packard, 1885

Compiler and date details

2011 - Gary C.B. Poore, P.S. Lake & Helen M. Lew Ton


The Syncarida comprise two orders with modern representatives and one known only as fossils. They appear to represent the most primitive eumalacostracans. Unlike most crustacean groups there are few marine representatives, all live in freshwater environments. Many anaspidaceans live in lakes or streams or even in crayfish burrows. Others, especially bathynellaceans, are interstitial or live in ground water. With the exception of some stygocaridids, all Anaspidacea are confined to south-eastern Australia. Bathynellacea are far more widespread. Horwitz (1990) pointed out the conservation significance of syncarids in Australia and Humphreys (2008) discussed biodiversity and endemism of bathynellaceans in particular.

Schminke (1982) diagnosed the Syncarida. Lopretto & Morrone (1998) analysed the biogeography of South American syncarids and naturally related them to the Australian fauna. Schram (1986) discussed many aspects of the biology of syncarids in three chapters, Anaspidacea, Palaeocaridacea (fossils) and Bathynellacea. All 80 genera were listed by Coineau (1996) and a shorter list of 57 extant genera by Lopretto & Morrone (1998) but these figures have increased significantly recently, particularly with the discovery of numerous Australian parabathynellids (Comacho 2006; Camacho & Valdecasas 2008).



Eumalacostraca without carapace. Thoracomere 1 fused to head or free. Pleonite 6 fused to telson or not. Without incubatory marsupium in females. Thoracopods biramous; epipods swollen; thoracopod 8 sometimes modified as copulatory limb. Antenna 1 with 3-articled peduncle and 2 flagella. Antenna 2 with 2 multiarticulate or reduced flagella. Mandible usually without lacinia mobilis.


General References

Camacho, A.I. 2006. An annotated checklist of the Syncarida (Crustacea, Malacostraca) of the world. Zootaxa 1374: 1-54

Camacho, A.I. & Valdecasas, A.G. 2008. Global diversity of syncarids (Syncarida; Crustacea) in freshwater. Hydrobiologia 595: 257-266

Coineau, N. 1996. Sous-classe des Eumalacostracés (Eumalacostraca Grobben, 1892) Super-ordre des syncarides (Syncarida Packard, 1885). pp. 897-954 in Forest, J. (ed.). Traité de Zoologie. Anatomie, Systématique, Biologie. Publié sous la direction de Pierre-P. Grassé. Tome VII. Crustacés. Fascicule 2. Généralités (suite) et systématique (Céphalocarides à Syncarides). Paris : Masson éditeur 1002 pp.

Horwitz, P. 1990. The conservation status of Australian freshwater Crustacea with a provisional list of threatened species, habitats and potentially threatened processes. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service Report Series 14: 1-121

Humphreys, W.F. 2008. Rising from Down Under: developments in subterranean biodiversity in Australia from a groundwater fauna perspective. Invertebrate Systematics 22: 85-101

Lopretto, E.C. & Morrone, J.J. 1998. Anaspidacea, Bathynellacea (Crustacea, Syncarida), generalised tracks, and the biogeographical relationships of South America. Zoologica Scripta 27: 311-318

Packard, A.S. 1885. The Syncarida, a group of Carboniferous Crustacea. American Naturalist 19: 700-703

Schminke, H.K. 1982. Syncarida. pp. 233-237 in Parker, S.P. (ed.). Synopsis and classification of living organisms. New York : McGraw-Hill Vol. 2.

Schram, F.R. 1986. Crustacea. New York : Oxford University Press xii 606 pp.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
12-May-2011 12-May-2011 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)