Description of the postembryonic stages of Boeckella poopoensis (Crustacea, Copepoda, Centropagidae)

Gabriela Cecilia Cabrera, Alicia María Vignatti, Santiago Andrés Echaniz, Alicia Haydée Escalante


Boeckella poopoensis Marsh, 1906 is one of the most common copepods in the saline lakes of South America, where generally is the species that greater biomass contributes to zooplankton community. Despite of its wide geographic distribution and ecological importance, the characteristics of the postembryonic stages are unknown, which prevents a detailed understanding of the structure and dynamics of natural populations. The objective of this work was to describe the morphology of the postembryonic stages and to compare it with other species of the family Centropagidae. The specimens were obtained from a monospecific culture acclimatized in the laboratory. The identification of the postembryonic stages was performed according to the characteristics established for copepod calanoids. Some characteristics that distinguish B. poopoensis are: lobes of nauplii with the same number of setae of equal length; beginning of body segmentation from nauplii III; sexual dimorphism from copepodite IV (although only evident in the V leg); the endopod of the V leg of copepodites V males and females are biarticulate, but while females endopod add setae respect to the previous stage, males endopod lose them and remain glabrous as in the adults. Copepodites V do not present characteristics typical of adults, such as, the most developed thoracic left wing of females and in the geniculate right antenna of males. All stages of B. poopoensis are larger than those corresponding to other species of centropagids, and in the immature stages, the appendages show their own patterns of setae and have a slightly smaller number of setae than that of the other species of the family.

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