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Platythelphusa armata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA ARTHROPODA MALACOSTRACA DECAPODA POTAMONAUTIDAE

Scientific Name: Platythelphusa armata
Species Authority: A. Milne-Edwards, 1887
Taxonomic Notes: Bott (1955) treated this taxon as Potamonautes (Platythelphusa) armata armata. Coulter (1991) treated it as Potamonautes (Platythelphusa) armata. The revisions by Cumberlidge (1997, 1999) and Cumberlidge et al. (1999), revived the genus Platythelphusa, and referred this species to Platythelphusa armata. Cumberlidge (1999), Cumberlidge et al. (1999) and Marijnissen et al. (2004) recognised nine species in the genus, all of which are endemic to Lake Tanganyika. This genus was formerly assigned to the Platythelphusidae (Cumberlidge 1999, Cumberlidge et al. 1999, Marijnissen et al. 2004). It was recently transferred to the Potamonautidae: Potamonautinae by Cumberlidge et al. (2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Cumberlidge, N. and Marijnissen, S.A.E.
Reviewer(s): Crandall, K. and Daniels, S. and McIvor, A.
Justification:
Platythelphusa armata is endemic to Lake Tanganyika and is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. It is the largest and probably most common species in the genus and it is the subject of a commercial fishery in the region. Although large numbers are captured regularly, the fishery is not believed to be a significant threat to the population at present. The species is well represented in museum collections and quite a bit of material has been collected in the past 10 years.
History:
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Platythelphusa armata is endemic to Lake Tanganyika, and has been recorded from the waters of all four countries bordering the lake (Tanzania, Burundi, Zambia and D. R. Congo).
Countries:
Native:
Burundi; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Its population is estimated to be stable based on indirect measures such as the fact that a lot of material has been collected recently from more than one locality (S. Marijnissen, pers. comm.), that this species is the subject of a local commercial fishery with large numbers captured regularly and that it is well represented in museum collections.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is the largest and most distinctive species in the genus and is mainly found in rocky areas, at depths between 5-30 m. The juveniles are found in the sublittoral shell zone from 1-10 m deep in places where the lake bed is rocky, or in the empty shells of Neothauma spp. where they co-occur together with the adults of small-bodied species such as P. maculata, P. echinata and P. polita (Coulter 1991, Cumberlidge et al. 1999). The juveniles of P. armata are often found inside the empty shells of the gastropod Neothauma tanganyicense.
Systems: Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): None known. Supports small local fisheries and there is some small-scale collecting of this species for the aquarium trade. Neither of these is intense enough at present to amount to a serious long-term threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: None in place.

Citation: Cumberlidge, N. and Marijnissen, S.A.E. 2008. Platythelphusa armata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 November 2014.
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