Crustacean Biodiversity In The Neotropics

The Neotropical biogeographic realm, from Mexico to the southern regions of the South American temperate zone, where crustaceans are prominently diverse, is perhaps best known for the ecological importance and unique nature of its freshwater and terrestrial biota. The marine portion of this region, however, is also known for its high crustacean diversity, and often intriguing biogeographical and evolutionary characteristics.

Neotropical crustaceans (Extant and fossils) have been the focus of numerous studies during the past few decades, and as result a large albeit scattered body of knowledge exists on these arthropods. Studies have dealt with aspects of their taxonomy, systematics, biology, conservation, ecology, biogeography, and phylogeny, among other many topics. Both benthic and planktonic ecological zones have been investigated. A good number of regional catalogues or broad monographs of various groups have been produced. Furthermore, the study of the Neotropics has benefitted greatly in recent times by the advent of molecular biology and application of powerful modern techniques to study and analyze the genetic basis for the development of new adaptations, and thereby understand the evolutionary patterns and processes that drive the diversification of crustaceans in this vast and ecologically fragile region of the New World.

While perhaps the best known studies of Neotropical crustaceans have discussed decapods, in particular the remarkably speciose freshwater shrimp, crabs, crayfish, and famously endemic squat lobsters of the family Aeglidae, many other studies have addressed equally critical, diverse, and ecologically important groups such as anostracans, cladocerans, copepods, branchiopods, and peracarids, to name a few. Several remarkable findings of crustacean fossils have also revealed origins and affinities of Neotropical crustaceans.

In order to bring together researchers that are interested in presenting reviews, updates or any new investigations on crustaceans from the entire Neotropical region, as well as to discuss future research directions, a symposium is proposed for ICC9. Carcinologists of all biology fields are invited to participate in this symposium by preparing papers that emphasize, but not necessarily are limited to, the following: 1) overalls reviews of the NEOTROPICS state of knowledge (taxonomy, biogeography, phylogeny, biology, etc.) of major or particular subgroups; 2) phylogenetic studies of any scope (morphological and/or molecular-based), of the entire Neotropics or any Neotropical subregion, particularly if they shed light on origin and diversification of the group studied; 3) biology, ecology, conservation, and effects of global change; 4) genomics; 5) evolutionary perspectives based on fossil discoveries; and 6) importance and state of Neotropical collections in the countries that cover the Neotropics.

Meetings during ICC9 will be held at the Smithsonian Institution Museum of Natural History (day 1), and at the Renaissance Hotel (days 2–4) which will also serve as the primary lodging site. The symposium length and possible publication of proceedings in a peer-review journal will be evaluated depending on interest and participation. Participants may choose to contribute with only a presentation (oral or poster), and/or a manuscript if proceedings are published.

For expressions of interest or questions regarding ICC9 organization, contact: Dr. Rafael Lemaitre, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, email:; and Dr. Marcos Tavares, Museu de Zoologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Email: For general information about ICC9, please visit:

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