Taxonomy of some Australian serolid and sphaeromatid isopods (Crustacea)
The taxonomy of marine isopod crustaceans belonging to the families Serolidae and Sphaeromatidae is considered.
All known Australian serolids are discussed and a new species is described from Victoria. The Serolis minuta-group (sensu Monod, 1971) is shown to exhibit great morphological variation and the differentiation of distinct species within this group is not currently possible. The differences between the minuta-group and other Australian species are described and a key to all known serolids from Australia is provided.
All known sphaeromatids from the Queensland coast of Australia are redescribed, and 8 genera and 25 species new to science are described from this region. A further 1 new genus and 3 new species of Sphaeromatidae are described from southern and western Australian coasts.
The morphology of ovigerous female sphaeromatids is reviewed for all known genera world-wide. The expansion of the maxilliped is shown to be directly related to brood pouch form, and some relationship is indicated between brood pouch structure and environment. Twenty different forms of brood pouch are described.
For adult male sphaeromatids, an illustrated key to all known genera world-wide is provided and the known geographical distributions of the genera are listed.
A preliminary revision at the species level of the entire family Sphaeromatidae is briefly attempted and the need for a natural classification within this family (especially at the generic level) is emphasised, some of the current genera being obviously artificial groups.
It is shown that the families Sphaeromatidae and Serolidae are not as closely related phylogenetically as was previously thought, and the opinion is rendered that the genera Ancinus Milne Edwards, Bathycopea Tattersall and Tecticeps Richardson should probably be removed from the Sphaeromatidae.