Caribbean marine biodiversity

Pseudopontonides principis on black coral

The Caribbean flora and fauna is well represented in the collections of Naturalis because of an historical presence by the Netherlands.

Four workers in the group have a focus on this area researching marine invertebrates. Aspects of coral reef health are researched through associations between coral hosts and invertebrate symbionts; species communities through discovery of new species, new localities and identification of invasive species; palaeoenvironmental issues through fossil sea urchins and sea stars; and subterranean island fauna evolution through interstitial invertebrates in marine sand and terrestrial groundwater.

Photograph: The symbiotic shrimp Pseudopontonides principis (Criales, 1980) on black coral. Curaçao, photo C.H.J.M. Fransen, 2013.

More information: Bert Hoeksema, Charles Fransen, Ronald Vonk, Steve Donovan