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Reexamination of Eye Design in the Classification of Stomatopod Crustaceans

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Abstract At least 7 distinct eye types have evolved in the Stomatopoda. This reflects adaptations to the wide range of habitats and depths in which stomatopods occur. However, there are some species for which eye design does not correlate with environmental factors. The distribution of certain eye types in taxonomically unrelated groups suggests that their occurrences result from convergent evolution. The current classification of stomatopods into five superfamilies is not supported by eye design. Polyphyly in the Gonodactyloidea is proposed. Eye structure cannot be used as a taxonomic character to superfamily or family level in stomatopods, but is helpful in the diagnosis of genera and species. A few genera and species can be distinguished from their eye design alone.

Affiliations: 1: Sussex Centre for Neuroscience, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QG, United Kingdom (


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