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Populationen Von Triops Cancriformis (Bosc) (Notostraca) in Deutschland Nördlich 50°n sInd Nicht Klonal Und Höchstens Fakultativ Hermaphroditisch

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Populations of Triopsidae (Notostraca) exhibit a wide variation in sex ratio and, therefore, have received enormous interest. However, investigations focusing on this subject are often suffering from problems in discriminating males and females phenotypically. In the present study 29 individuals of Triops cancriformis found in two locations in Germany were characterized ethologically, morphologically, and histologically in order to investigate the reliability of the sex ratio of populations north of 50°N. Among ten distinct morphological characteristics the structure of the eleventh pair of legs turned out to be the only suitable one for discriminating the gender of (fixed) Triops material. This was confirmed by histological examination of the respective gonads. In total, three sexual males were found. Their sperms were round and non-flagellar, contained large nuclei, and showed no signs of degeneration. Histologically, there was no evidence for the occurrence of hermaphroditic individuals. These findings suggest that Triops cancriformis populations in Germany north of 50°N are not clonal and at best facultatively hermaphroditic. In conclusion, the results of the present study provide evidence for the occurrence of sexual Triops cancriformis males and females in European populations at latitudes beyond 50°N for the first time. Generally, this is the northernmost find of male Triops cancriformis in Europe and the first report of recent males in Middle Europe since 1955.

Affiliations: 1: Universität Leipzig, Zoologisches Institut, Leipzig, Deutschland; 2: Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Geburtshilflich Gynäkologische Klinik, Graz, Österreich


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