Get access

Occurrence and distribution pattern of Palaemon spp. shrimps in a shallow submarine cave environment: a study case in South-eastern Italy

Authors

  • Francesco Denitto,

    1. Laboratory of Zoogeography and Fauna, Department of Biological and Environmental Science and Technologies, Marine Biology Station, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Salvatore Moscatello,

    1. Laboratory of Zoogeography and Fauna, Department of Biological and Environmental Science and Technologies, Marine Biology Station, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Genuario Belmonte

    1. Laboratory of Zoogeography and Fauna, Department of Biological and Environmental Science and Technologies, Marine Biology Station, University of Salento, Lecce, Italy
    Search for more papers by this author

Francesco Denitto, Laboratory of Zoogeography and Fauna, Marine Biology Station, Department of Biological and Environmental Science and Technologies, University of Salento, Via Prov.le Lecce-Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy.
E-mail: francesco.denitto@unisalento.it

Abstract

The common shrimps of the genus Palaemon are often reported as living in Mediterranean submarine caves. The present study quantifies the distribution pattern of a Palaemon spp. populations throughout 1 year of observations in a shallow submarine cave in South-eastern Italy, Ionian Sea. The cave was subdivided into six sectors from the entrance towards the inner portion of the ‘blind cave’ and 16 dives (four per season, during both day and night) were performed with SCUBA equipment. The population was estimated in situ using visual census. Four different species of Palaemon were identified. This study has shown that Palaemon spp. assemblages live throughout the year in submarine caves. Moreover, the results suggest submarine caves play an important role in the biology of Palaemon spp. populations, by providing refuge, juvenile recruitment and food resources.

Ancillary