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Mate Guarding in Tisbe Bulbisetosa (Copepoda, Harpacticoida)

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Mate guarding in Tisbe bulbisetosa Volkmann-Rocco, 1972 (Harpacticoida, Tisbidae) is described. The sexual dimorphism of antennules and maxillipeds and their function in mate clasping are discussed. Males of T. bulbisetosa are peculiar in their behaviour because: (1) they use their maxillipeds for grasping and (2) they are carried around by the females while clinging in opposite direction and upside down to the ventral side of the females. This type of mate guarding has not been observed in other harpacticoids. As only adult partners are involved it cannot be a case of precopulatory mate guarding. Maxillipeds are shown for the first time to be the main appendages for mate clasping in Harpacticoida. This explains in part the sexual dimorphism of this pair of appendages.

Affiliations: 1: Arbeitsgruppe Zoomorphologie, Fachbereich 7 (Biologie), Universität Oldenburg, D - 2900 Oldenburg, Germany


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