Distribution and habitat

Distribution

Manunema kithara was discovered in 2004 and described in 2009. It is currently only known from the intertidal zone of Kuwait Bay in the northern Arabian Gulf

Habitat

  • marine
  • intertidal
  • tropical 

Manunema kithara is able to tolerate or avoid:

  • extremely high temperatures when exposed by tide
  • hyper-saline conditions or sediment drying when exposed by tide

It lives in the sediment, probably confined to the upper 10cm, and is small enough to move between sand grains.

Trophic strategy

The very small size and shape of Manunema kithara's mouth suggests that it is a bacteria feeder.

Conservation

As for most free-living nematodes, it is impossible to say for sure how abundant this species is or what extinction threats it may face. However, this species has only been found from a single location, Kuwait Bay in the Arabian Gulf, and only in low numbers compared with other species from that area.

If it is truly an endemic species, then any threat to the marine ecology of that area may threaten Manunema kithara.