Predatory Morphology and Behaviour in Branchinella occidentalis (Dakin, 1914) (Branchiopoda: Anostraca: Thamnocephalidae)

D. Christopher Rogers, Brian V Timms


Branchinella occidentalis (Dakin 1914) is redescribed from material collected across the species natural distribution, with special attention to its functional morphology in relation to predatory feeding behaviour observed in the wild and in culture. We present B. occidentalis as a predatory anostracan with physical adaptations convergent with other large predatory anostracan taxa. Comparisons with its closest sister taxon, B. australiensis (Richters 1876), and with other predatory species are made and discussed. Revised and updated defi nitions and diagnoses for the Thamnocephalidae, Branchinella, and Branchinella sensu stricto are provided.

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