Mesophotic and Bathyal Palaemonid Shrimp Diversity of the Red Sea, with the Establishment of Two New Genera and Two New Species

Arthur Anker, Silvia Vimercati, Federica Barreca, Fabio Marchese, Giovanni Chimienti, Tullia Isotta Terraneo, Mattie Rodrigue, Ameer A. Eweida, Mohammed Qurban, Carlos M. Duarte, Vincent Pieribone, Francesca Benzoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The diversity and evolution of the Red Sea invertebrates in mesophotic and deep-water benthic ecosystems remain largely unexplored. The Palaemonidae is a diversified family of caridean shrimps with numerous taxa in need of taxonomic revisions based on recent molecular analyses. The Red Sea mesophotic and bathyal palaemonid shrimps are largely unstudied. During recent expeditions off the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia, several palaemonid specimens were collected at a depth range of 88–494 m, spanning the mesophotic and bathyal zones. This material was examined morphologically and genetically to infer phylogenetic relationships among the Red Sea taxa and several other palaemonid genera. The concordant morphological and genetic data led to the description of two new genera and two new species. Moreover, one species was recorded in the Red Sea for the first time, with a new host record, whereas three further deep-water species, which do not occur in the Red Sea, were formally transferred to a different genus. As more exploration efforts are deployed, research on the diversity and evolutionary relationships among marine invertebrates from the Red Sea will further underline the uniqueness of its mesophotic and bathyal fauna.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1028
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 22 2023

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-09-26
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): FCC/1/1973-50-01
Acknowledgements: The research expeditions onboard the R/V OceanXplorer were founded by Neom, NCW and OceanX. The authors are grateful to NCW for the invitation to participate in the RSDE and to OceanX ground and onboard staff and technical teams for their support. The material sampling and processing and KAUST team logistics and molecular analyses were supported by KAUST (award FCC/1/1973-50-01 and baseline research funds to F. Benzoni). This research was undertaken in accordance with the policies and procedures of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). Permission relevant for KAUST to undertake this research was obtained from the applicable governmental agencies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The authors acknowledge the Saudi Arabian authorities and the National Center for Wildlife in particular for supporting the OceanX expeditions onboard which we could sample for the present paper. For work in Neom in 2020, in addition to A.A.E., we are indebted to T. Habis, R. Khamis, P. Mackelworth, P. Marshall, J. Mynar and G. Palavacini for organising, coordinating, and facilitating the Deep Blue Expedition. For the Red Sea Decade Expedition, in addition to M.Q. and C.M.D., we thank National Center for Wildlife (NCW), J. E. Thompson, and N.C. Pluma Guerrero for organising, coordinating and facilitating the expedition. For the Red Sea Relationships Cultivation Expedition, the authors are grateful to M. Rodrigue and V. Pieribone for organising, coordinating and facilitating the expedition. The OceanX team, both in headquarters and onboard, is acknowledged for their operational and logistical support during the expedition, especially the captain and crew of OceanXplorer, and the Sub and ROV teams, to which we are deeply grateful for their patience, support and manipulator mastery. We thank the KAUST Sanger Sequencing Core Lab for helping with sequencing. Sammy De Grave (Oxford University Museum of Natural History) and Gustav Paulay (Florida Museum of Natural History) made stereomicroscopes equipped with camera lucida in laboratories under their supervision available for the preparation of line drawings.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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