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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT We studied frequencies of several attributes of the reproductive cycle of Pleuromamma xiphias, an oceanic, calanoid copepod taken in replicate monthly samples over a 13-month period at a station off Hawaii. Large numbers of late copepodids in these samples allowed us to confidently describe monthly changes in these frequencies despite variability among replicate samples taken within 36 h. The percentage of males among different copepodids of P. xiphias decreased from copepodid stage IV to CV and from CV to CVI. The percentage of left females, a sex-limited dimorphism in the condition of asymmetry of an animal, increased from CIV to CV but decreased from CV to CVI. The magnitude of the changes in the percentage of left females was not as great as changes in the percentage of males. Monthly averages for these attributes suggested differential recruitment to CVI males and left females in May when the percentage of CVI females without a dark mass in the genital opening also was high, but when abundances of CVI, CV, and CIV animals were low; the percentage of CVI males with a spermatophore in the spermatophore sac reached a maximum earlier, in February. We compared our data about the percentage of males to similar information for other calanoid copepods, and conclude that documenting the ranges of this attribute among consecutive copepodid stages is more useful in describing the seasonal distribution of sex than calculating an average value for adults.


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