Ferrari, Frank D. National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.
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A copepod order of free-living crustaceans made up of 34 species in 16 genera and 3 families. Misophria pallida was the first species described, by Axel Boeck in 1865, from a sample taken close to the sea floor in shallow water. A second genus and species, Benthomisophria palliata, was established by Georg Ossian Sars in 1909 for a bathypelagic species from the North Atlantic Ocean. The remaining species have been described since 1964 and reflect an increased interest by taxonomists in this order of copepods. Many of the recently described species have been recovered during the exploration of anchialine caves, which are coastal marine water bodies with subsurface rather than surface hydrologic connections to the sea. Anchialine caves are one category of crevicular habitat in coastal marine geological formations. The number of known species of Misophrioida is expected to increase significantly, as similar habitats, such as the interstices of coral reefs, are explored more systematically. See also: Copepoda; Crustacea
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