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The larval morphology of Palaemon floridanus Chace, 1942 (Decapoda, Palaemonidae) compared with other species of Palaemon and Palaemonetes

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Eight zoeal larval forms and the postlarval form of the prawn, Palaemon floridanus Chace, 1942, are described, based on laboratory reared animals that passed through as few as 8 or as many as 16 larval instars. This "extended" pattern of larval development was found to be consistent over the genus as a whole, regardless of the wide range of salinity occupied by different species. Structural characteristics that are shared by larvae of all Palaemon spp. thus far examined are presented. A more detailed analysis of larval morphology of temperate-tropical American species of Palaemon and Palaemonetes revealed more differences within than between the two genera, suggesting that they are more closely related than previously regarded. Se describen ocho fases larvarias (zoeas) y la fase postlarva del camarón Palaemon floridanus Chace, 1942, basadas en ejemplares cultivados en laboratorio y que contenían solamente entre 8 y 16 etapas larvarias. Este patrón "extendido" del desarrollo larvario fue observado en todo el género, a pesar del amplio rango de salinidades que habitan las diferentes especies. Se describen, asimismo, las características estructurales comunes a las larvas de todos los Palaemon spp. Un análisis más detallado de la morfología larvaria de las especies tropicales/templadas americanas de Palaemon y Palaemonetes reveló mas diferencias intra que intergenéricas, sugiriendo que ambos géneros están más relacionados entre sí de lo que se creía anteriormente.

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