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TWO NEW LUMINESCENT OSTRACODES OF THE GENUS VARGULA (MYODOCOPIDA: CYPRIDINIDAE) FROM THE SAN BLAS REGION OF PANAMA

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ABSTRACT Two new species of luminescent myodocopid ostracodes, Vargula kuna and V. mizonomma, from the San Bias Islands, Panama, are described. Vargula kuna and V. mizonomma differ more in bioluminescent signaling patterns than in morphological characters. We hypothesize that V. kuna and V. mizonomma are sibling species which share several diagnostic characters with a group of species which includes V. contragula Cohen and Morin, 1986, and 6 undescribed species from the San Blas Islands, and possibly V. tsujii Kornicker and Baker, 1977, from California. Males of both new species secrete pulses of luminescence in species-specific trains above shallow coral reefs at night. The pattern produced by V. mizonomma is zigzag and upwards, while that of V. kuna is vertical as either long upward or shorter downward trains. We hypothesize that the upward and downward displays of V. kuna are produced by two morphologically indistinguishable species or populations. Upward displays of V. kuna occur over steep coral slopes, downward displays of V. kuna occur along both shallow forereef slopes and steep coral slopes. Displays of V. mizonomma occur over sand near the edges of sand patches among coral reefs.

10.1163/193724088X00468
/content/journals/10.1163/193724088x00468
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/content/journals/10.1163/193724088x00468
2017-07-21

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