A study on octopodids from the eastern Weddell Sea, Antarctica
A comprehensive study of octopodids in the Weddell Sea was conducted during cruise ANT XIII/3 of RV "Polarstern". The study yielded eight species or incirrate octopodids, three of which were undescribed. There appeared to be no differences in octopodid species assemblage in the two sampling areas (Kapp Norvegia and south of Drescher Inlet), supporting the theory that there is a single macrobenthic assemblage on the eastern shelf of the Weddell Sea. Six of the octopodid species belonged to the genus Pareledone, illustrating the extensive radiation of this endemic genus within the Southern Ocean. The fragmented nature of suitable habitats and disturbance caused by glaciation cycles are proposed as mechanisms for this radiation. Comparative data illustrate that both the number of octopodid species present and their abundance are greater at higher latitudes than close to the Antarctic Polar Frontal Zone.