Alternate Title

Decapod Crustaceans of the Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary


Since 1985, new sampling and reexamination of existing specimens have resulted in the finding of more than 25 additional decapod crustacean species at the Flower Gardens Banks National Marine Sanctuary. Of the 106 species of decapods that inhabit the Sanctuary, the predominant groups are the families Alpheidae, Palaemonidae, Paguridae, Diogenidae, Mithracidae, and Panopeidae. The West Flower Gardens Bank has the most diverse fauna of the areas sampled (60 species). Stetson Bank has 14 species that have not been found on the Flower Gardens Banks proper. Three species are typically found on mooring lines and oil platforms. Differences in bottom type and sampling effort may account for species differences at each bank. The majority of the species have tropical distributions.