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The naupliar stages of Eucalanus inermis Giesbrecht, 1893 (Copepoda, Calanoida) from the Humboldt current system (northern Chile)

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Eucalanus inermis Giesbrecht, 1893 is an abundant species of the Humboldt Current and recognized as one of the large-sized herbivorous copepods in the pelagic realm of the eastern South Pacific. However, lack of information on morphological and taxonomic characters of early stages of this species is a major shortcoming to identify them from field samples, and therefore it limits the possibility of studying its populations and assessing its ecological role in the pelagic food web of the Humboldt Current. In this work, a full description of the naupliar stages of this species is made for the first time. Thus, we provide a basic tool to assist future studies on the population dynamics of the species. Eucalanus inermis Giesbrecht, 1893 es una especie abundante en el Sistema de Corrientes Humboldt y reconocido como una de las especies herbívoras de mayor tamaño del Pacífico Sur-oriental. Sin embargo, la ausencia de información básica sobre la morfología y caracteres taxonómicos de sus estadios tempranos es una limitante para estudiar y comprender el ciclo vital de la especie. Esta situación también limita la posibilidad de evaluar el rol ecológico de la especie en la trama trófica pelágica del sistema de corrientes Humboldt. En este trabajo se presenta una descripción completa de los estadios naupliares por primera vez. Proveemos así, una herramienta básica para identificar los estadios naupliares desde muestras del zooplancton y apoyar estudios futuros de la dinámica poblacional de la especie.


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