The supergiant amphipod Alicella gigantea (Crustacea: Alicellidae) from hadal depths in the Kermadec Trench, SW Pacific Ocean

A. J. Jamieson*, N. C. Lacey, A. -N. Loerz, A. A. Rowden, S. B. Piertney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Here we provide the first record of the 'supergiant' amphipod Alicella gigantea Chevreux, 1899 (Alicellidae) from the Southern Hemisphere, and extend the known bathymetric range by over 1000 m to 7000 m. An estimated nine individuals were observed across 1500 photographs taken in situ by baited camera at 6979 m in the Kermadec Trench, SW Pacific Ocean. Nine specimens, ranging in length from 102 to 290 mm were recovered by baited trap at depths of 6265 m and 7000 m. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences obtained indicate a cosmopolitan distribution for the species. Data and observations from the study are used to discuss the reason for gigantism in this species, and its apparently disjunct geographical distribution. Crown Copyright (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

Bibliographical note

We thank the captain and crew of the R.V. Kaharoa KAH1109 and KAH1202, and the NIWA Vessels Management Company. This study was funded by the Total Foundation (France) and the National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand. AJJ and NCL are funded by the MASTS pooling initiative (The Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland) and their support is gratefully acknowledged. MASTS is funded by the Scottish Funding
Council (Grant reference HR09011) and contributing institutions. AAR participated in the study through NIWA’s ‘Impact of Resource Use on Vulnerable Deep-Sea Communities’ project (CO1 0906). ANL is funded by the New Zealand COBR1302 NIWA programme. We thank Malcolm Clark, Kareen Schnabel, Sadie Mills (NIWA) for logistical support at the NIWA Invertebrate Collection, Oliver Coleman (Museum fur Naturkunde, Germany) for taxonomic assistance and advice, Laura Watt (University of Aberdeen) for help with DNA extraction and DNA sequencing, Jeff Drazen (University of Hawaii, USA), Harim Cha (Benthic Invertebrate Collection, University of California, San Diego, USA) for organising the loan of the North Pacific specimen and Toyonobu Fujii (University of Aberdeen) for producing Fig. 1 and his assistance at sea.


  • Amphipoda
  • Alicellidae
  • Baited camera
  • Baited trap
  • Hadal zone
  • Kermadec Trench
  • Pacific Ocean


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