Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


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Order TANAIDACEA Hansen, 1895

Compiler and date details

April 2011 - Kelly Merrin

30 April 2005 - Gary C.B. Poore, Helen M. Lew Ton & Jürgen Sieg


Tanaidaceans are common peracaridans of all marine benthic environments. They are recognised by the fusion of the head to the first and second thoracomeres thereby having always only six free thoracomeres. The second thoracopods (chelipeds) are chelate or subchelate and are followed by six pairs of pereopods.

The literature on the Tanaidacea is extensive. Bacescu (1974) provided a bibliography and Sieg (1983a) expanded this and catalogued all species known up to 1980 with complete synonymies and references. The evolution of the order was treated using phylogenetic principles by Sieg (1983b, 1984). He also discussed general morphology, distribution and sexual dimorphism. Sieg & Winn (1978) provided keys to all families and Gutu (1972, 1981) diagnosed families and gave keys to the 'Monokonophora'. More recent reviews have been provided by Gutu (1996) and by Gutu & Sieg (1999). The last discusses morphology and ecology, in French, and lists all genera and higher taxa.

All surveys of benthic marine communities in bays and on the shelf and slope of Australia have turned up numerous species of tanaidaceans, but few species have been described from waters surrounding the Australian mainland.

Our Catalogue includes species from the Australian subantarctic islands, Macquarie Island and Heard Island (Sieg 1986a). A few species have extensive synonymies which can be found in Sieg (1983a). Our synonymies list only those junior synonyms used for Australian records.

The systematic arrangement in this contribution largely follows Sieg (1984). Four suborders of Tanaidacea are currently recognised and replace the earlier division into Monokonophora and Dikonophora. Two, Apseudomorpha (equivalent to the Monokonophora) and Tanaidomorpha (which, with the Neotanaidomorpha, is equivalent to the Dikonophora), are represented in the known Australian fauna. The biogeography of the group was discussed by Sieg (1986b).

The name Tanaidacea was first introduced for the order by Hansen (1895). Spelling of family names derived from the genus Tanais are here brought into line with Latin usage, e.g. Tanaidae becomes Tanaididae.

This chapter of the Catalogue was initiated in Melbourne in the 1980s with the help of Jürgen Sieg in Osnabrück who contributed lists, diagnoses and opinions on higher classification. Dr Sieg died on 14 August 1996 and the work was completed by Gary Poore in 2000–2002 with the help of Richard Heard and Kim Larsen. The diagnoses written by Sieg have not been altered and may not be compatible with more recent interpretations, e.g. by Gutu (1996) and Gutu & Sieg (1999). Generic composition of some families may also differ too but these alternative views are highlighted.{47917:b}

Database Notes

Updated by Gary C.B. Poore, 30 April 2005.


General References

Bacescu, M. 1974. Bibliographia tanaidaceorum. Travaux du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle "Grigore Antipa" 15: 69-90

Błażewicz-Paszkowycz, M. & Bamber, R.N. 2012. The shallow-water Tanaidacea (Arthropoda: Malacostraca: Peracarida) of the Bass Strait, Victoria, Australia (other than the Tanaidae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 69: 1-235

Gutu, M. 1972. Phylogenetic and systematic considerations upon the Monokonophora (Crustacea - Tanaidacea) with the suggestion of a new family and several new subfamilies. Revue Roumaine de Biologie Zool. 17: 297-305

Gutu, M. 1981. A new contribution to the systematics and phylogeny ofthe suborder Monokonophora (Crustacea, Tanaidacea). Travaux du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle "Grigore Antipa" 23: 81-108

Gutu, M. 1996. The synoptic table and key to the superspecific taxa of recent Apseudomorpha (Crustacea, Tanaidacea). Travaux du Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle "Grigore Antipa" 36: 135-146

Gutu, M. & Sieg, J. 1999. Ordre des tanaïdacés (Tanaidacea Hansen, 1895). pp. 353-389 in Forest, J. Traité de Zoologie. Anatomie, systématique, biologie … Tome 7 Crustacés. Fascicule 3A Péracarides. Mémoires de l'Institut Océanographique, Monaco 19: 1-450

Hansen, H.J. 1895. Isopoden, Cumaceen, und Stomatopoden der Plankton-Expedition. Ergebnisse der Hamburger Magalhaensischen Sammelreise 2(Gc): 1-105 pls 1-8

Larsen, K. 2005. Deep-Sea Tanaidacea (Peracarida) from the Gulf of Mexico. Leiden : Brill 381 pp.

Markham, J.C. 1985a. Additions to the bopyrid isopod fauna of Thailand. Zoologische Verhandelingen (Leiden) 224: 1-63

Sieg, J. 1983a. Crustaceorum Catalogus editus a H.-E. Gruner & L.B. Holthuis Pars 6. Tanaidacea. The Hague : Dr W. Junk 552 pp.

Sieg, J. 1983b. Evolution of Tanaidacea. Crustacean Issues 1: 229-256

Sieg, J. 1984. Neuere Erkenntnisse zum natürlichen System der Tanaidacea. Eine phylogenetische Studie. Zoologica (Stuttgart) 136: 1-132

Sieg, J. & Winn, R.N. 1978. Keys to the suborders and families of Tanaidacea (Crustacea). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 91: 840-846


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
05-Aug-2022 17-Apr-2013 MODIFIED
05-Aug-2022 09-May-2011 MODIFIED
12-Feb-2010 (import)