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PRECOCIOUS CLASPING OF EARLY COPEPODITE STAGES: A COMMON OCCURRENCE IN ZAUSODES ARENICOLUS WILSON (COPEPODA: HARPACTICOIDA)

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ABSTRACT Precopulatory clasping was studied in the harpacticoid copepod Zausodes arenicolus in Tampa Bay, Florida. Clasping of all juvenile copepodite stages (I-V) was observed, but no adult females or males were clasped. Clasping of early copepodites, rarely reported for other harpacticoids, occurs frequently in Z. arenicolus. The size-distribution of clasped individuals changed seasonally, with a higher proportion of younger stages being clasped when adult males are abundant relative to juveniles than when juveniles are relatively more abundant. We suggest that clasping of early stages in Z. arenicolus may be a response to scarcity of available mates.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, Florida 33620.

10.1163/1937240X84X00372
/content/journals/10.1163/1937240x84x00372
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/content/journals/10.1163/1937240x84x00372
2017-07-20

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