Revista chilena de historia natural
versión impresa ISSN 0716-078X
GUERRA-GARCIA, JOSÉ M. y THIEL, MARTIN. The caprellid fauna (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Caprellidea) from the coast of Coquimbo, Northern-central Chile, with a taxonomic key for species identification. Rev. chil. hist. nat. [online]. 2001, vol.74, n.4, pp. 873-883. ISSN 0716-078X. http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0716-078X2001000400014.
Caprellids are abundant in many littoral habitats of the marine environment. Nevertheless, this group of amphipods has been scarcely studied along the coast of Chile. The study of the Caprellidea is particularly difficult due to the high degree of intra-specific morphological variability and the fact that literature and specimens from Museums are not easily located. The objective of the present study was to provide the taxonomical tools to identify the most common caprellid species from northern-central Chile. Several habitats were examined (buoys, boulders, algal/seagrass beds) and six caprellid species were found: Caprellina longicollis (Nicolet, 1849), Caprella equilibra Say, 1818, C. scaura Templeton, 1836, C. verrucosa Boeck, 1871; Deutella venenosa Mayer, 1890 and Paracaprella pusilla Mayer, 1890. Caprella scaura, C. verrucosa and D. venenosa were most abundant among algae, hydrozoans and bryozoans growing on buoys. Caprella equilibra, also present on buoys, was most abundant underneath boulders in exposed rocky intertidal zones, where additionally D. venenosa and P. pusilla were found. Caprella scaura was dominant in plant beds above sandy subtidal bottom, especially among the alga Gracilaria chilensis and the seagrass Heterozostera tasmanica, where it occurred together with Caprellina longicollis. Paracaprella pusilla represents a new citation for the pacific coasts of S-America, being a new record for Chile. The species D. venenosa, which was recorded for the first time since the original description by Mayer in the year 1890, is considered an endemic species from the central coast of Chile
Palabras clave : Crustacea; Amphipoda; Caprellidea; Chile; taxonomic key.