Tarawa Atoll, Gilbert Islands (1° 30′N, 173° 00'E) is an isolated place, comparatively recently emergent – 2500 years bp and 2 – 3 m above present sea-level (Marshall & Jacobson, 1985). During the course of a study of the marine ostracods (Eagar, in press) it was noted that there are relatively few places where freshwater is visible on the surface of the atoll. This is not unusual, given the low precipitation (154 mm a'1) and the daytime temperatures of Tarawa (27–30°C). Five freshwater ponds on South Tarawa (Fig. 1) were examined and two species...

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