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MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS: A USEFUL TOOL IN SEPARATING SPERMATOPHORES PRODUCED BY THE DIOGENIDS, CLIBANARIUS ERYTHROPUS, DIOGENES PUGILATOR, AND CALCINUS TUBULARIS (DECAPODA, ANOMURA, DIOGENIDAE)

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Morphometric characteristics of the spermatophores of the Mediterranean hermit crabs, Clibanarius erythropus, Diogenes pugilator, and Calcinus tubularis have been determined. For the first time, the importance of a statistical approach using both univariate and multivariate techniques to study the morphometry of paguroid spermatophores is put forward. Discriminant factor analysis (DFA) allows correct classification of the spermatophores of these three species in 87% of the cases, although we did find a partial misclassification (20%) of D. pugilator spermatophores attributed to C. tubularis and of C. tubularis ones attributed to D. pugilator. Further analyses are necessary to assess whether the multivariate technique is also suitable to distinguish spermatophores produced by specimens belonging to other, congeneric species. It is recommended that multivariate analysis of spermatophores, together with univariate and classical morphological and ultrastructural analysis of the reproductive apparatus, be used to study phylogenetic relationships among the Paguroidea. Nel presente lavoro vengono fornite le caratteristiche morfometriche delle spermatofore dei paguri mediterranei Clibanarius erythropus, Diogenes pugilator e Calcinus tubularis. Viene suggerita l'importanza di un approccio statistico che si avvalga di tecniche sia univariate sia multivariate per lo studio della morphometria delle spermatofore dei paguroidei. L'analisi del fattore discriminante (DFA) permette di classificare correttamente le spermatofore di queste tre specie nell'87% dei casi, sebbene sia stata trovata una parziale erronea attribuzione (20%) delle spermatofore di D. pugilator a C. tubularis e di quelle di C. tubularis a D. pugilator. Sono necessarie ulteriori analisi per verificare se la tecnica multivariata sia anche adatta a separare le spermatofore prodotte da esemplari appartenenti a specie tra loro congeneriche. Viene infine suggerito l'utilizzo dell'analisi multivariata delle spermatiofore, insieme a quella univariata e alla classica analisi morfologica ed ultrastrutturale dell'apparato riproduttore, per studiare le relazioni filogenetiche interecorrenti tra i Paguroidea.

Affiliations: 1: Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Via Accademia Albertina, 13, I-10123 Torino, Italy;, Email: santina.tirelli@unito.it; 2: Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Via Accademia Albertina, 13, I-10123 Torino, Italy

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