Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2023-12-19
Page range: 227-240
Abstract views: 183
PDF downloaded: 14

A benefit to biodiversity assessment: An Indian survey demonstrates that Cheiriphotis geniculata is a misidentification of the valid species Photis geniculata Barnard, 1935 (Crustacea: Amphipoda)

Department of Earth and Marine Sciences; DiSTeM; University of Palermo; Via Archirafi 20; 90123 Palermo; Italy; NBFC; National Biodiversity Future Center; Palermo; Piazza Marina 61; 90133 Palermo; Italy
Department of Zoology; St Joseph’s College for Women; Alappuzha; University of Kerala; India
Crustacea taxonomy amphipoda Photidae Photis geniculata India Biodiversity


The amphipod crustaceans are an essential taxonomic group in the marine biodiversity assessment and response to environmental pollution or climate change. They play an important role in benthic food webs due to their high biomass, abundance and highly variable modes of feeding. However, our knowledge of the amphipod fauna is somehow incomplete and literature shows shortcomings regarding misidentification or lack of identification to species-level. A case of misidentification is herein reported and solved. The present paper aims at allocating Cheiriphotis geniculata K.H. Barnard, 1916 to the correct taxon Photis. The observations herein presented demonstrate that Cheiriphotis geniculata does fit the genus Photis and its nomenclature should be revised in future checklists and updated in the World Amphipoda Database. Photis geniculata is characterized by a gnathopod 2 with three processes on the palm of propodus and a geniculated dactylus. The present paper recommends Cheiriphotis geniculata is considered a nomen nudum and changed to the valid name Photis geniculata Barnard, 1935.



  1. Arfianti, T., Wilson, S. & Costello, M.J. (2018) Progress in the discovery of amphipod crustaceans. PeerJ, 6, e5187.
  2. Ali, M., Al-Ghunaim, A., Subrahmanyam, M.N.V., Al-Enezi, Y., Al-Said, T., Al-Zakri, W., Al-Adila, H. & Grintsov, V.A. (2018) On the diversity of amphipods inhabiting Sargassum as well as clear areas in Kuwait coastal waters, with an assessment of the effect of turbidity and notes on their abundance, composition, and distribution: a preliminary study. Crustaceana, 91 (7), 767–819.
  3. Barnard, K.H. (1916) Contributions to the Crustacean Fauna of South Africa. 5. The Amphipoda. Animals of the South African Museum, 15, 105–302.
  4. Barnard, K.H. (1935) Report on some Amphipoda, Isopoda, and Tanaidacea in the collections of the Indian Museum. Records of the Indian Museum, 37 (3), 279–319.
  5. Barnard, J.L. & Karaman, G.S. (1991) The families and genera of marine gammaridean Amphipoda (except marine gammaroids) (Vol. 2). Part 1. Australian Museum, Sydney, 866 pp.
  6. Barnard, J.L. & Karaman, G.S. (1987) Revisions in classification of Gammaridean Amphipoda (Crustacea). III. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 100 (4), 856–875.
  7. Bhunia, A.B. & Choudhury, A. (1991) Hydrologicial parameters and a report on planktonic and benthic fauna of Sagar Island, Sundarbans, West Bengal. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, 88 (3 & 4), 335–343.
  8. Chapman, J.W. (2007) Amphipoda: Chapter 39. In: Carlton, J.T. (Ed.), The Light and Smith Manual: Intertidal Invertebrates from Central California to Oregon. Completely Revised and Expanded. University of California Press, Los Angeles, pp. 545–618.
  9. Costa, V., Chemello, R., Iaciofano, D., Lo Brutto, S. & Rossi, F. (2021) Small-scale patches of detritus as habitat for invertebrates within a Zostera noltei meadow. Marine Environmental Research, 171, 105474.
  10. Costello, M.J.E., Emblow, C. & White, R.J (2001) European register of marine species: a check-list of the marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Museìum national d’histoire naturelle, Paris, 463 pp.
  11. Dershavin, A.N. (1923) Malacostraca der Süsswasser-Gewässer von Kamtschatka. Russkii Gydrobiologicheskii Zhurnal, 2, 115−24.
  12. Dauvin, J.C. & Bellan-Santini, D. (2004) Biodiversity and the biogeographic relationships of the Amphipoda: Gammaridea on the French coastline. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the UK, 84 (3), 621–628.
  13. Dar, G. H., Khuroo, A.A., Reddy, C.S. & Malik, A.H. (2012) Impediment to taxonomy and its impact on biodiversity science: an Indian perspective. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, India Section B: Biological Sciences, 82 (2), 235–240.
  14. Di Camillo, C.G., Luzi, G., Afghan, D., di Florio, L., Calcinai, B., Lo Brutto, S., Mendoça, J.L., Fumanti, A. & Cerrano, C. (2022) Characterization of intertidal macrofaunal communities of two sandy beaches under different anthropogenic pressures. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, 10, 1976.
  15. Divakaran, O., Murugan, T. & Nair, N. B. (1981) Distribution and seasonal variation of the benthic fauna of the Ashtamudi Lake, south-west coast of India. Mahasagar, 14 (3), 167–172.
  16. Guralnick, R.P., Hill, A.W. & Lane, M. (2007) Towards a collaborative, global infrastructure for biodiversity assessment. Ecology Letters, 10, 663–672.
  17. Horton, T., Gofas, S., Kroh, A., Poore, G. C., Read, G., Rosenberg, G., Stöhr, S., Bailly, N., Boury-Esnault, N., Brandão, S.N., Costello, M.J., Decock, W., Dekeyrez, S., Hernandez, F., Mees, J., Paulay, G., Vandepitte, L., Vanhoorne, B. & Vranken, S. (2017) Improving nomenclatural consistency: a decade of experience in the World Register of Marine Species. European Journal of Taxonomy, 389, 1–24.
  18. Horton, T., Lowry, J., De Broyer, C., Bellan-Santini, D., Coleman, C.O., Corbari, L., Costello, M.J., Daneliya, M., Dauvin, J.-C., Fišer, C., Gasca, R., Grabowski, M., Guerra-García, J.M., Hendrycks, E., Hughes, L.,; Jaume, D., Jazdzewski, K., Kim, Y.-H., King, R. Krapp-Schickel, T., LeCroy, S., Lörz, A.-N., Mamos, T., Senna, A.R., Serejo, C., Sket, B., Souza-Filho, J.F., Tan,dberg, A.H., Thomas, J.D., Thurston, M., Vader, W., Väinölä, R., Vonk, R., White, K. & Zeidler, W. (2021) World Amphipoda Database. Cheiriphotis geniculata K.H. Barnard, 1916. Available from: (accessed 5 September 2023)
  19. De Broyer, C., Bellan-Santini, D., Coleman, C.O., Corbari, L., Daneliya, M., Dauvin, J.C., Decock, W., Fanini, L., Fišer, C., Gasca, R., Grabowski, M., Guerra-García, J.M., Hendrycks, E.A., Hughes, L.E., Jaume, D., Kim, Y.H., King, R., Lo Brutto, S., Lörz, A.N., Mamos, T., Serejo, C., Senna, A.R., Souza-Filho, J.F., Tandberg, A.H.S., Thurston, M.H., Vader, W.J.M., Väinölä, R., Valls Domedel, G., Vandepitte, L., Vanhoorne, B., Vonk, R., White, K.N. & Zeidler, W. (2023) The World Amphipoda Database: History, Progress and Completion. Records of the Australian Museum [in press]
  20. Imbach, M.C. (1967) Gammaridean Amphipoda from the South China Sea. UC San Diego: Library – Scripps Digital Collection. Available from: (accessed 5 September 2023)
  21. Joseph, P. (2019) Benthic Biocoenosis in the Tropical Mangrove Stands of Kerala. PhD Thesis in Marine Biology. Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi, 682016.
  22. Joseph, P. & Nandan, S. B. (2020) Decadal changes and community shift in benthic macrofauna in mangrove habitats of Cochin. In: Nandan, S.B., Priyaja, P. & Jayachandran, P.R. (Eds.), Frontiers in Benthic Science. Directorate of Public Relations and Publications, CUSAT, Kochi, pp. 161–168.
  23. Joseph, P., Nandan, S.B., Sreelekshmi, S., Jayachandran, P.R., Varghese, R., Preethy, C.M., Asha, C.V. & Adarsh, K.J. (2021) Benthic biocoenosis: influence of edaphic factors in the tropical mangroves of Cochin, Southern India. Tropical Ecology, 62 (3), 463–478.
  24. Krapp-Schickel, T. & Myers, A.A. (2006) New and little known Aoridae, Corophiidae, Kamakidae, Photidae and Unciolidae (Crustacea: Amphipoda) from the Indo-Pacific. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 86 (5), 10831096.
  25. Ledoyer, M. (1982) Faune de Madagascar. 59 (1). Crustacés amphipodes gammariens. Familles des Acanthonotozomatidae à Gammaridae. CNRS, Paris, 597 pp.
  26. Lo Brutto, S., Iaciofano, D., Lo Turco, V., Potortì, A.G., Rando, R., Arizza, V. & Di Stefano, V. (2021) First assessment of plasticizers in marine coastal litter-feeder fauna in the Mediterranean Sea. Toxics, 9, 31.
  27. Lo Brutto, S., Schimmenti, E., Iaciofano, D., Lubinevsky, H., Cesari, M. & Guidetti R. (2022) The morphological diversity within a species can obscure the correct identification. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 299, 106–114.
  28. Liu, J.Y. [Ruiyu] (2008) Checklist of Marine Biota of China Seas. China Science Press, Beijing, 1267 pp.
  29. Lowry, J. (2010) Cheiriphotis Walker, 1904. In: Horton, T., Lowry, J., De Broyer, C., Bellan-Santini, D., Coleman, C.O., Daneliya, M., Dauvin, J-C., Fišer, C., Gasca, R., Grabowski, M., Guerra-García, J. M., Hendrycks, E., Holsinger, J., Hughes, L., Jaume, D., Jazdzewski, K., Just, J., Kamaltynov, R. M., Kim, Y.-H., King, R., Krapp-Schickel, T., LeCroy, S., Lörz, A.-N., Senna, A. R., Serejo, C., Sket, B., Tandberg, A.H., Thomas, J., Thurston, M., Vader, W., Väinölä, R., Vonk, R., White, K. & Zeidler, W. (2016) World Amphipoda Database. World Register of Marine Species. Available from: (accessed 5 September 2003)
  30. Milne, R. & Griffiths, C.L. (2013) Additions to and revisions of the amphipod (Crustacea: Amphipoda) fauna of South Africa, with a list of currently known species from the region. African Natural History, 9, 61–90.
  31. Nandan, B.S., Joseph, P. & Jayachandran, R.P. (2019) The recent benthic observations from coastal wetlands of central Kerala, India. Compendium on Advances in Benthic Studies, 263–272.
  32. Ortiz, M. & Lalana. R. (1997) Amphipoda. Results of the Zoological Expedition organised by “Grigore Antipa” Museum in the Indonesian Archipelago (1991). Travaux du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle “Grigore Antipa”, 38, 29–113.
  33. Salman, S.D. & Jabbar, N. (1990) A new species of the genus Cheiriphotis Walker, from the north west Arabian Gulf, with a redescription of C. megacheles (Giles) (Amphipoda, Isaeidae). Crustaceana, 58 (2), 214–226.
  34. Satheeshkumar, P. (2011) Intertidal Amphipods (Crustacea: Amphipoda) from Pondicherry Mangroves, Southeast Coast of India. Journal of Natural Sciences Research, 1, 34–38.
  35. Scipione, M.B. (2013) Do studies of functional groups give more insight to amphipod biodiversity? Crustaceana, 86 (7–8), 955–1006.
  36. Siddique, A., Purushothaman, J. & Raghunathan, C. (2020) Arthropoda: Crustacea: Amphipoda. In: Faunal Diversity of Biogeographic Zones: Coasts of India. Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, pp. 359–374.
  37. Soemodinoto, A., Oey, B.L. & Ibkar-Kramadibrata, H. (1995) Effect of salinity decline on macrozoobenthos community of Cibeureum river estuary, Java, Indonesia. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences, 24, 62–67.
  38. Souza-Filho, J.F., Souza, A.M.T. & Valério-Berardo, M.T. (2012) A new species of Cheiriphotis (Amphipoda, Corophiidae) from the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. Nauplius, 20, 107–116.
  39. Surya Rao, K. (1972) Intertidal amphipods from the Indian coast. Proceedings Indian National Science Academy, 38 (3–4), 190–205.
  40. Valério-Berardo, M.T., De Souza, A.M.T. & Rodrigues, C.W. (2007) A new species of Cheiriphotis (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Corophiidae: Protomedeiinae) from the coast of Southeastern Brazil, with a key to species in the genus. Zootaxa, 1646 (1), 41–49.
  41. Wakabara, Y. & Serejo, C.S. (1998) Malacostraca-Peracarida. Amphipoda. Gammaridea and Caprellidea. In: Young, P.S. (Ed.), Catalogue of Crustacea of Brazil. Série Livros n. 6. Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro, pp. 561–594.
  42. Walker, A.O. (1904) Report on the Amphipoda Collected by Prof. Herdman, at Ceylon, in 1902. Royal Society, London, 307 pp.
  43. Watling, L. (1989) A classification system for crustacean setae based on the homology concept. Crustacean Issues, 6, 15–26.
  44. Wongkamhaeng, K. (2004) Morphology and feeding ecology of gammarid amphipods in coral reef and seagrass communities. [Doctoral dissertation, Master Thesis. Department of Marine Science, Graduate School, Chulalongkorn University]
  45. Wongkamhaeng, K., Paphavasit, N., Bussarawit, S. & Nabhitabhata, J. (2009) Seagrass Gammarid Amphipods of Libong Island, Trang Province, Thailand. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University, 9 (1), 69–83.
  46. Wongkamhaeng, K., Rahim, A.A. & Puttapreecha, R. (2012) Cheiriphotis trifurcata, new species (Crustacea, Amphipoda, Corophiidae, Protomedeiinae) from the Seagrass Bed of the Lower Gulf of Thailand. ZooKeys, 187, 71.