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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The successive stages of the molt cycle of the terrestrial crustacean amphipod Orchestia cavimana are finely described and illustrated in order to give precise reference marks for experimental, physiological, and biochemical studies. The method of determination, very rapid and easy, is based upon the observation of the morphogenesis of the dactylopodite and the propodite from the third pereiopod. The events of the early morphogenesis of the claw from the dactylopodite divide the intermolt period C into four stages. The formation of spines and the secretion of the epicuticle and then the procuticle at the level of the propodite divide the premolt period into seven stages. The entire molt cycle is thus divided into 14 main stages, some of them being subdivided into three substages. However, these events at the level of a reference appendage precede those of the whole cuticle. This heterochronism is taken into account in the determination of the last stages of the premolt period.


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