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Workshop on squat lobsters

National Institute of Water and Atmosphere, Wellington, New-Zealand

3 - 7 September 2007

Organized by Gary C. B. Poore

Squat lobsters are dominant, numerous and highly visible crustaceans on seamounts, continental margins, many shelf environments, coral reefs at all depths, hydrothermal vents and cold seeps. Their abundance has stimulated considerable taxonomic research especially over the last two decades resulting in hundreds of new species being described and the older large genera subdivided into smaller ones.

Marine squat lobsters belong to three families, Galatheidae, Chirostylidae and Kiwaidae, all members of the superfamily Galatheoidea. Two other families of Galatheoidea, freshwater Aeglidae and porcelain crabs (Porcellanidae), are not dealt with. The most recent estimate of the number of genera is 38.

During the week 3-7 September 2007 ten crustacean taxonomists with varying experience with the taxonomy of squat lobsters met at the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere, Wellington, New Zealand. Their objectives were to compile taxonomic resources (species list, bibliography, electronic keys, electronic library) to publish on the web. During the five days of the workshop each participant shared the results of their work but most of the work was devoted to compiling resources to share with future workers through the web.

A hierarchical list of the world's species, almost 900 species, was completed by building on a database compiled over recent years by Baba and Macpherson.

A bibliography of 877 citations in Endnote format was completed and pdfs of about 80% of these were linked to the bibliography. The bibliography has been submitted to AToL: Decapoda.

The workshop was able to update and complete dichotomous keys to species for most of the world's almost 40 genera. Good progress was also made on translating some of these to interactive keys in DELTA format. A promising start was made to electronic keys to families, to all genera, and to species of smaller genera.

Finally, the workshop provided an opportunity for those using molecular tools for taxonomic and phylogenetic research questions to compare successes and failures.