Temporal range: Lower Pennsylvanian–Recent
Speleonectes tanumekes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Remipedia
J. Yager, 1981
Orders & families



Remipedia is a class of blind crustaceans found in coastal aquifers which contain saline groundwater, with populations identified in almost every ocean basin so far explored, including in Australia, the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean. The first described remipede was the fossil Tesnusocaris goldichi (Lower Pennsylvanian), but, since 1979, at least seventeen living species have been identified with global distribution throughout the neo-tropical zone.[1]


Remipedes are 10–40 millimetres (0.4–1.6 in) long and comprise a head and an elongate trunk of up to forty-two similar body segments.[2] The swimming appendages are lateral on each segment, and the animals swim on their backs. They are generally slow-moving. They have fangs connected to secretory glands; it is still unknown whether these glands secrete digestive juices or venom, or whether remipedes feed primarily on detritus or on living organisms. They have a generally primitive body plan in crustacean terms, and have been thought to be a basal, ancestral crustacean group. However, Fanenbruck et al. showed that at least one species, Godzilliognomus frondosus, has a highly organised and well-differentiated brain, with a particularly large olfactory area which is a common feature for species that live in dark environments.[3]


The class Remipedia was erected in 1981 by Jill Yager, in describing Speleonectes lucayensis from the Bahamas.[4] The name "Remipedia" is from the Latin remipedes, meaning "oar-footed".[4] Remipedia is grouped together with Cephalocarida to form the clade Xenocarida.[5] Besides Cephalocarida, the closest relatives of remipedes are probably the Hexapoda (insects and allies), confirming the Pancrustacea hypothesis and the paraphyly of Crustacea.[6][5]

Twenty-four extant species are currently recognised, divided among three families.[7] All are placed in the order Nectiopoda; the second order, Enantiopoda, comprises the fossil species Tesnusocaris goldichi and Cryptocaris hootchi.[1]


  • Godzilliognomus Yager, 1989
  • Godzillius Schram et al., 1986
    • Godzillius robustus Schram et al., 1986
  • Pleomothra Yager, 1989
    • Pleomothra apletocheles Yager, 1989
    • Pleomothra fragilis Koenemann et al., 2008


  • Micropacter Koenemann et al., 2007
    • Micropacter yagerae Koenemann et al., 2007


  • Cryptocorynetes Yager, 1987
    • Cryptocorynetes elmorei Hazerli et al., 2009 [8]
    • Cryptocorynetes haptodiscus Yager, 1987
    • Cryptocorynetes longulus Wollermann et al., 2007
  • Kaloketos Koenemann et al., 2004
    • Kaloketos pilosus Koenemann et al., 2004
  • Lasionectes Yager & Schram, 1986
    • Lasionectes entrichoma Yager & Schram, 1986
    • Lasionectes exleyi Yager & Humphreys, 1996
  • Speleonectes Yager, 1981
    • Speleonectes atlantida Koenemann et al., 2009
    • Speleonectes benjamini Yager, 1987
    • Speleonectes cokei Yager, 2013[9]
    • Speleonectes emersoni Lorentzen et al., 2007
    • Speleonectes epilimnius Yager & Carpenter, 1999
    • Speleonectes fuchscockburni Neiber et al., 2012[10]
    • Speleonectes gironensis Yager, 1994
    • Speleonectes kakukii Daenekas et al., 2009
    • Speleonectes lucayensis Yager, 1981
    • Speleonectes minnsi Koenemann, Iliffe & van der Ham, 2003
    • Speleonectes ondinae (Garcia-Valdecasas, 1984)
    • Speleonectes parabenjamini Koenemann, Iliffe & van der Ham, 2003
    • Speleonectes tanumekes Koenemann, Iliffe & van der Ham, 2003
    • Speleonectes tulumensis Yager, 1987
    • Speleonectes williamsi Hartke, Koenemann & Yager, 2011[11]

Distribution of extant Remipedia


External links

Crustaceans portal
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