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Intersexuality in Boeckella Triarticulata (Thomson, 1883) (Copepoda, Calanoida): a trap for unwary taxonomists

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Copepod systematists should be careful not to attribute taxonomic significance to teratological structures. Given that only a minute fraction of copepod populations is subjected to microscopic examination, and that several workers have encountered intersexual individuals, intersexuality is not an extremely rare phenomenon. The fifth legs of an intersexual Boeckella triarticulata, the second to be recorded in the literature, are figured and described in detail. The factor that induces intersexuality does not affect all four rami of the fifth pair of legs uniformly; one ramus may be fully male in character and another almost completely female. Karukinka fueguina Menu-Marque, 2003 is probably based on two intersexual individuals of Boeckella poppei (Mrázek, 1901). Les taxonomistes de copépodes devraient faire attention à ne pas donner une importance taxonomique aux caractères tératologiques. Etant donné que seule une fraction infime des populations de copépodes est soumise à un examen microscopique, et que plusieurs chercheurs ont trouvé des individus intersexués, l'intersexualité n'est pas un phénomène extrêmement rare. La cinquième paire de pattes d'une Boeckella triarticulata intersexuée, représentant le deuxième cas cité dans la littérature, est décrite et dessinée en détail. Le facteur qui induit l'intersexualité n'affecte pas de la même façon les quatre rames de la cinquième paire de pattes: une rame peut être typiquement mâle, et une autre presque complètement femelle. Il est ainsi probable que Karukinka fueguina Menu-Marque, 2003 ait été décrite à partir de deux individues intersexués de Boeckella poppei (Mrázek, 1901).

Affiliations: 1: School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Victoria 3800, Australia; 501 Killiecrankie Rd, Flinders Island, Tasmania 7255, Australia; 2: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Benham Laboratories DX650312, University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia


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