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A Scanning Electron Microscope Study of the Molar Surface of the Mandibles in Branchinella Spinosa H. Milne Edwards (Branchiopoda) With Some Remarks On the Taxonomical Significance of This Character

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image of Crustaceana

The molar surface of the mandibles of the fairy shrimp Branchinella spinosa H. Milne Edwards, 1840 was described and figured by means of SEM for eventual use in Anostracan taxonomy. Morphological analysis, performed on several individuals from 4 different populations (3 from Sardinia, Italy, 1 from Cyprus), outlined significant differences in the number of teeth ornamenting molar surfaces between the two mandibles, either within a population or among populations. The recorded variation is not related to sex or size of the individuals examined. In spite of this, the basic morphological pattern is constant within the species, as it was outlined also by comparison with the mandibular morphology of other 7 species of the genus from different continents.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Animal and Human Biology, Università La Sapienza, Viale dell'Università 32, Roma, Italy; 2: Department of Vegetal Biology, Università La Sapienza, Piazzale Aldo Moro 7, Roma, Italy


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