Alternate Title

A Checklist of Benthic Amphipods (Crustacea: Peracarida) in Coral Reefs of the Protected Area Tuxpan-Lobos, Mexico, SW Gulf of Mexico

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Currently, there is scarce information documenting benthic amphipod species in the Marine Protected Area Tuxpan—Lobos Coral Reef, a carbonate ecosystem in the southwestern Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Sampling to determine the biodiversity of benthic amphipods associated with several living or hard—soft bottom substrates occurred in July 2014, with 1,386 individuals collected at depths of 0.5–25 m. This study summarizes the first inventory of these benthic amphipods, and includes 64 species belonging to 30 genera, 19 families, and 3 suborders. The suborder Senticaudata was highly diverse with 36 species representing 56% of the total species. The most diverse amphipod families were Aoridae, Maeridae, Colomastigidae, Leucothoidae, Ampithoidae, and Photidae, which constitute 63% of the amphipod fauna collected. Nineteen species were characterized as dominant in the Tuxpan—Lobos coral reef system. Leucothoe ashleyae, Bemlos unicornis, Ampithoe ramondi, Elasmopus levis, E. pocillimanus, and E. rapax occurred in the highest abundance with the widest spatial distribution in this protected area. Macroalgae tufts, sponges, and coral rubble hosted the maximum amount of amphipod species. Based on the richness of amphipod species, the Tuxpan—Lobos Coral Reef system has the third highest amphipod species diversity in a coral reef ecosystem, after Alacranes and Sisal reefs, both located in the southern GoM.

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