HCNSO Student Theses and Dissertations

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

M.S. Marine Biology


Oceanographic Center

First Advisor

James D. Thomas

Second Advisor

Charles G. Messing

Third Advisor

Martin Thiel


Marine sponges were examined from shallow waters of southeast Florida and the Florida Keys to determine species composition and distribution of commensal amphipod crustaceans from shallow reef, mangrove, and seagrass habitats. Twenty sponge species were investigated during this study, sixteen of which housed amphipods in the families Colomastigidae and/or Leucothoidae. Six species of commensal amphipods were identified. Leucothoe spinicarpa (Abildgaard) species "complex" was the most dominant amphipod commensal, representing 63% of the total amphipods collected. The L. spinicarpa "complex" contains four local morphotypes, which are diagnosed and briefly described. Common sponge hosts included Callyspongia vaginalis, Mycale sp., and Myriastra kallitetilla.

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