Australian Amphipoda: Eusiridae

J.K. Lowry, P.B. Berents and R.T. Springthorpe
Division of Invertebrate Zoology
The Australian Museum
6 College Street, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
Phone: 612 9320 6260
Fax: 612 9320 6050

Email Roger Springthorpe


Eusirids are a large and diverse group of mainly shallow water amphipods. In this monograph calliopiids, eusirids and pontogeneiids are all considered to be synonymous with the Eusiridae (sensu lato) (see Barnard & Karaman, 1991). There are currently 26 species of Eusiridae known from Australian waters.

Haswell (1879a, b) and Stebbing (1888, 1910) described species from south-eastern Australia. J.L. Barnard (1972) redescribed some of these and described several new species from south-western Australia. More recently Lowry & Stoddart (1998) and Lowry & Barnard (in press) have added more species to the south-eastern fauna. Two species, Membrilopus sp. and Regalia sp. are undescribed and two others, Eusrioides sp. and Harpinioides sp., have been reported under other names, but are probably new species. Although Meteusiroides keyensis Pirlot, 1934 is not strictly part of the Australian fauna it is reported here because it lives on the Sahul shelf between Australia and New Guinea.

Nearly all of the species reported here are known from the south-eastern Australia. A few species are known from southern and south-western Australia. None are known from north-western and northern Australia and only one from the north-east. When the fauna is better know, then the number of species will at least double and will probably more than triple. Consequently users, particularly of the interactive key, should be aware that the possibility of unreported taxa appearing in samples, particularly from northern Australia, is high.

This study is based on collections held in the Australian Museum, Sydney (AM), the Bristish Musuem (Natural History), London (BMNH), the Museum of Victoria, Melbourne (NMV) and the Western Australian Museum (WAM). The following abbreviations are used on the plates: A, antenna; C, coxa; E, epistome; EP, epimeron; G, gnathopod; H, head; MD, mandible; MP, maxilliped; MX, maxilla; OP, outer plate; P, peraeopod; p, palp; T, telson; U, uropod; UR, urosomite.

Taxonomic problems

Eusiroides lippus Haswell, 1979 was described from Clark Island, Port Jackson, New South Wales, but it is an unidentifiable species. There is no material available in the Australian Museum collection.

Eusiroides crassi Stebbing, 1888 was reported from off Wattamolla, New South Wales (Stebbing, 1910). It was originally described from the bathyal depths in the South Atlantic Ocean. We think the New South Wales material is an undescribed species. Stebbing (1910) also reported Harpinioides drepanocheir Stebbing, 1888, from off Wattamolla, but this material also represents an undescribed species.

Eusiroides monoculoides Haswell, 1879, was poorly described and has never been redescribed. We redescribe and illustrate it here from new material. A number of closely related species have been synonymised with it and it has now been reported from many localities throughout the southern hemisphere. J.L. Barnard (1974b) accepted this broad definition of E. monoculoies eventhough he pointed out that his material from New Zealand was more like E. Pompeii Stebbing (1888) and that E. caesaris should be considered as a separate species. In this paper we re-establish E. caesaris and restrict E. monoculodes to Australian waters.

Gondogeneia tasmaniae (Thomson, 1893) was originally described from Pirate Bay Tasmania, but never illustrated. Keith Sheard collected this species from the type locality and deposited the material in the Australian Musuem. We illustrate it here for the first time.

The New Zealand species Paramoera fasciculata Thomson (1880) was reported the Huon River, Tasmania by Thomson (1893). This identification has never been confirmed and must be considered as doubtful.

K.H. Barnard (1931) described Rhachotropis platycera from the Great Barrier Reef. There are few clues in his description to the identity of this species. We have not found new material for redescription in our collections, but we have illustrated and described a second species from Queensland waters.

This publication should be cited as : Lowry, J.K., P.B. Berents & R.T. Springthorpe, 2000. Australian Amphipoda: Eusiridae. Version 1: 2 October 2000.