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Larval Evolution in the Crustacea

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Earlier publications include the suggestion that larval transfer (the transfer from one phylogenetic lineage to another of genes coded for larval features) provides the best explanation of anomalies between adult and larval morphologies in the Dromioidea and in the crab Dorhynchus thomsoni. It is now suggested that most crustacean larvae, other than postlarvae and megalopas, evolved from transferred larvae. Examples include zoeas (except those of the Polychelidae), phyllosomas, mysid larvae, protozoeas, and nauplii. The 2nd and 3rd appendages of nauplii are similar and postoral. The 2nd appendages are preoral in most extant non-naupliar crustaceans, but they remain postoral in the Ostracoda and Mystacocarida and in the Cambrian Martinssonia. The evolution of these groups is briefly discussed, and it is postulated that nauplii and similar forms were originally transferred from non-crustacean arthropods. The Sergestoidea and the Amphionidacea provide striking examples of the problems faced by those who would dismiss the concept of larval transfer in crustacean evolution. The taxonomic value of the characters of transferred larvae is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: Port Erin Marine Laboratory, University of Liverpool, Isle of Man IM9 6JA, British Isles; 2: Deacon Laboratory, Institute of Oceanographic Sciences, Brook Road, Wormley, Surrey GU6 5UB, United Kingdom


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