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New Sandhoppers (Crustacea: Amphipoda) from the Gulf Coast of the United States

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Three species of sand-burrowing semi-terrestrial amphipod crustaceans are newly described from sandy beaches of the North American coast of the Gulf of Mexico. They (and two related species from the open Atlantic coast of North America) are removed from the genus Talorchestia Dana 1853, and placed in a new genus, Americorchestia. Americorchestia salomani, new species, and A. heardi, new species, occur from northwestern Florida to the Mississippi Delta. They are morphological counterparts of the well-known sandhoppers from the open Atlantic coast, A. megalophthalma (Bate) and A. longicornis (Say) respectively. Americorchestia barbarae, new species, related to A. salomani, occurs on open beaches west of the Mississippi Delta. Sandhopper species of the Gulf coast are smaller, have different food resources available to them, and are exposed to different physical and biological survival factors than their counterparts from the North Atlantic coastal region

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