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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Development of the molar surface of the mandible of Artemia franciscana was studied with scanning electron microscopy. The molar surface of larval stage 1 consists of tapered, cuticular bristles. The mandibular palps and mandibles are biramous, and a gnathobasic spine (but no short spines) is present on each mandible. By larval stage 3, cuticular teeth emerge on the posterior part of the molar surface. The number of teeth and the number of cusps per tooth generally increase as the brine shrimp proceeds through the ninth molt. Short spines, occurring either singly or in groups, appear on the ventral and dorsal surfaces of the mandibles at approximately larval stage 9. The molar surface of larval stage 10 is multifaceted and dramatically different from that of the preceding stage. It has three regions: the anteroventral, the transition, and the posterodorsal. By larval stage 11, the gnathobasic spine has completely degenerated. During larval stages 11―17, the anteroventral region changes from irregular ridges of small, unbranched minor cusps to as many as 22 parallel ridges. Minor cusps remain on the dorsal edge of each ridge, but progress ventrally toward branched, fingerlike projections. Each ridge terminates in a marginal tooth at the ventral edge, thus comprising the ventral fringe. The posterodorsal region changes from one row of rounded teeth to as many as three rows of sharp, conical, stout teeth. The transition region bears projections intermediate between those found on the anteroventral and posterodorsal regions.


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