Published on 15 June 2001
The deep benthos of the tropical seas represents one of the last frontiers of marine biodiversity, and recent deep-sea exploration confirms the Indo-Pacific as a major reservoir of unknown forms of life in aIl taxonomic groups. However, unlike most other tropical biological communities, the deep-sea benthos has suffered from a lack of focussed attention from zoologists and oceanographers. Tropical Deep-Sea Benthos, a continuation of Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, is a series dedicated to inventorying and describing the deep-sea faunas of the world, with special emphasis on the most extensive of its biogeographical regions: the Indo-Pacific. The series rests on an international network of taxonomists fueled by the results of an ongoing sampling programme by Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle (MNHN, Paris) and Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD, formerly ORSTOM). Volume 22 of Tropical Deep-Sea Benthos contains 12 contributions by experts from Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Russia, Taiwan, and the United States, that span nearly the whole range of molluscan classes, from Aplacophora (1 paper) through Polyplacophora (1 paper), Bivalvia (4 papers), Gastropoda (5 papers), to Cephalopoda (1 paper). Articles report on the unique suite of chiton species living on sunken wood, a bizarre yet regular habitat in the deep sea. A new cuttlefish from Wallis Island represents the easternmost extension of Sepia into the Pacific Ocean. Predatory gastropods of superfamily Conoidea are represented by a seemingly endless assemblage. The more spectacular species from New Caledonia are described in this volume, including the first record in the Recent fauna of Zemacies, hitherto known as a Neogene fossil from New Zealand. The world richest assemblages of spiny oysters (Spondylidae), bean cowries (Triviidae), and phyllidiids (Phyllidiidae) are described from the Norfolk Ridge.
Philippe Bouchet is professor in the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris, and Bruce Marshall is curator of molluscs in the Museum of New Zealand, Wellington.
BOUCHET P. & MARSHALL B. (eds) 2001 — Tropical Deep-Sea Benthos volume 22. Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris, 406 p. (Mémoires du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle ; 185).