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generate these patterns, and (iii) briefly review “hotspots” and provide new information on endemism in reef stomatopods. (iv) We will then examine information on body size, life history characteristics, geographic ranges, and speciation/extinction dynamics of reef stomatopods and other organisms to suggest mechanisms that, in combination with environmental factors, can explain the observed patterns of IWP coral reef diversity and endemism.

We will focus on reef-dwelling mantis shrimps as a model taxonomic group for such analyses because these crustaceans are important members of the benthic community. All stomatopods are predators with a pair of enlarged, equally sized raptorial claws that are used to smash and spear prey, competitors, and predators (Fig. 3.1). Protective holes in the substrate are a limiting resource because of strong fish predation; stomatopods exhibit colorful communicatory displays and intense territorial fighting to maintain exclusive ownership of these holes (Caldwell and Dingle, 1975; Reaka and Manning, 1981).


Species diversity for several marine taxa (fishes, corals, lobsters, and snails) reaches a global maximum in the “East Indies triangle” (Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, and the Philippines) of the Indo-Australian Archipelago (IAA), declines in the IO (with heightened diversity in some parts of the western IO for many taxa), declines eastward across the Central Pacific (CP), and peaks again in the Caribbean (Steli and Wells, 1971; Briggs, 1995, 1999a, 2000, 2003, 2007; Veron, 1995; Paulay, 1997; Bellwood and Hughes, 2001; Hughes et al., 2002; Roberts et al., 2002; Meyer, 2003; Mora et al., 2003; Bellwood et al., 2005). The first diversity contour map for reef stomatopods (Fig. 3.2) shows a similar pattern, with a high, sharp peak in the central IAA and an area of elevated diversity in the northwestern IO that increases southward to a secondary peak around Madagascar. Similar to most other taxa where contours of diversity are known, tails of diversity extend from the IAA toward the southeast and northeast.


After considering all explanations for patterns of IWP reef biodiversity, we identify here only those that are most applicable to the present study.

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