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Determination of Moult Stages of Porcellio Scaber (Isopoda) for Routine Use

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The moult cycle of Porcellio scaber was studied in order to determine the typical shape of sternal calcium deposits during premoult. Males and non-breeding females were observed for 13 weeks. According to the appearance, size, and shape of sternal calcium deposits, premoult was divided into three substages which occurred in all animals investigated. The easiest and the least disturbing way to determine the moult stage of isopods in routine experiments is to identify one of the premoult substages. The duration of the moult cycle in both sexes of Porcellio scaber is approximately 33 days, with greater variation in females. The proposed procedure for moult stage determination is simple and rapid.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of Ljubljana, Vecna pot 111, SLO-1111 Ljubljana, Slovenia


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