Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria 56(1): 129-143 (1997)
ADDITIONS TO THE TAXONOMY OF THE LIMNORIIDAE
CSIRO, Forestry and Forest Products,
Private Bag 10, Clayton South MDC. Vic. 3169, Australia
Cookson, L.J., 1 997. Additions to the taxonomy of the Limnoriidae (Crustacea: Isopoda).
Memoirs of the Museum of Victoria 56(1): 129-143.
The crustacean marine wood borers Paralimnoria andrewsi (Caiman) and Limnoriasa-
seboensis Menzies are described from Australia for the first time. New characters are listed
that will aid in the separation of L. saseboensis, L. indiea Becker and Kampf, L. simulate
Menzies and L. Joveolata Menzies. L. indiea and L. simutata are considered to be separate
species. Limnoha earpiora sp. nov. is described from algal holdfasts growing at Heard Island
in the subantarctic. Additional distribution and habitat records are provided for L. agrostisa
Cookson, L. conve.xa Cookson, L. lorieata Cookson, L. platyeauda Menzies. L. quadripunc-
tata Holthuis, /.. rugossisima Menzies, L. unicornis Menzies, and Lynseia annae Cookson
This paper adds to an earlier study (Cookson,
1991) on the taxonomy of the Limnoriidae, an
isopod crustacean family of wood-, algal-and
seagrass-boring species. Since that publication
the Lynseiidae, a supposedly related family, has
been dismantled and its species of Lynseia trans-
ferred to Limnoriidae (Cookson and Poore,
1994), so that with Limnoria and Paralimnoria
there are now three genera in the family. Exten-
sive ecological research in Western Australia has
shown that the seagrass-boring species of
Lynseia and Limnoria agrostisa Cookson can
heavily colonize seagrass meadows, with
possibly important implications for the health of
those ecosystems (Brearley and Walker,
The present contribution re-examines the
species Limnoria indiea, L. saseboensis, L. simu-
tata and /.. Joveolata in an effort to clarify dis-
tinguishing features. All four are very similar in
appearance, and indeed, Miiller (1988) synony-
mised L. indiea and L. simulata. Also, a new
species is described from the subantarctic, and
the distribution or habitat records for a further
nine species extended (Table 1).
Material for this study was obtained from the
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne (NMV); Aus-
tralian Museum, Sydney (AM); United States
National Museum of Natural History,
Washington D.C. (USNM); Zoologisk Museum,
Copenhagen (ZMUC); Canterbury Museum,
Christchurch (CM); and the Bundesanstalt fur
Materialforschung und -Prufung (BAM).
Limnoria agrostisa Cookson
Limnoria agrostisa Cookson, 1991: 166-167, 169,
fig 10. — Cookson, 1990: 6, 15. — Brearlev and
Walker, 1993: 415-428, fig la.
Material examined. SA, Port Pirie (33°12'S,
138°00'E), 4.1 m, subtidal on Posidonia and Amphi-
bolis spp: core sample 795-A4/5, T.J. Ward, Aug 1 979.
AM P38958 (male, 3.75 mm), core sample 801-A4/8.
T.J. Ward, Mar 1980, AM P38986 (female, 2.9 mm).
WA, Bramble Point, Princess Royal Harbour
(35°03'S, 117°53'E), on Posidonia sinuosa. airlifted
sample epifauna, 0.1 m 2 , Hutchings. Wells and
Walker. 20 Jan 1988 (stn P. sinuosa 10), AM P39019
(ovig. female 4.0 mm). Green Island, Rottnest, 1-2 m,
from Amphibolis gri'ffithii, D.l. Walker, 7 Feb 1989,
NMV J37418 (female, with 1 slide, 3.0 mm). NMV
J37420(4 females, 1 male, 2juv), 6 Feb 1989. NMV
J37419 (male, 1.7 mm). Seven Mile Beach, near Don-
gara, G. Edgar, 1985-1986, NMV J37421 (male, with
1 slide, 2.0 mm).
Previous distribution records. South Australia and
southern Western Australia.
Remarks. L. agrostisa was originally described
on the basis of just two specimens. In this
additional material, one large male from Port
Pirie (AM P38958) has a pair of relatively large
anterior puncta on the pleotelson, similar in
comparative size to that found on L. unicornis
males, but not recurved. The male sometimes
has pereopod 7 poorly developed (NM V J37420,
While L. agrostisa has been collected from
Posidonia, its preferred substrate is Amphibolis
griffithii (Brearley and Walker, 1 993).