A new species of the genus Lightiella: the first record of Cephalocarida (Crustacea) in Europe


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A new species of Cephalocarida belonging to the genus Lightiella is described. Like all known species of Lightiella, the new species is characterized by reduction of trunk segment 8, which also lacks both pleura and thoracopods. The diagnostic characters of the species are: (1) one seta on the inner distal corner of the penultimate endopodal segment of second maxilla and thoracopods 1–5; (2) only one claw on the distal segment of the endopod of thoracopod 6. A cladistic analysis of 27 morphological characters was used to estimate the phylogeny of all species of Lightiella, with all other cephalocarid species used as outgroups. The discovery of this species in the Mediterranean fills a gap in the distribution of the genus and of the entire class. © 2006 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2006, 148, 209–220.