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Apolethon Hippoperus (Copepoda: Harpacticoida): A New Species from Southeastern Alaska

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Abstract A new harpacticoid copepod species of Apolethon (Laophontidae) from the intertidal zone of a subarctic bay in southeastern Alaska is described and illustrated. Apolethon hippoperus n. sp. is distinguished from its three congeners (A. fumator, A. trigonus, A. bilobatus) by paired pleural glands on the third urosomite. Adult Apolethon hippoperus bear conspicuous ovoid mucin structures located laterally on the double genital somite, originating from the pleural glands. Based on the description of A. hippoperus generic affinities become problematic. An examination of the apomorphies (P1 morphology, type of sexual dimorphism of male P3, P2-P4 with 2-segmented endopods; setation on A2 exopod, maxillular arthrites and basis, setation of mandibular palp) defining the Laophontoidea sensu Huys 1990 suggests that Apolethon is a laophontoidean but not a laophontid. Currently, we cannot place Apolethon with certainty in any known family of the Laophontoidea and recommend that Apolethon is placed as genus incertae sedis in Laophontoidea. This is the first taxonomic report of the genus Apolethon from the western hemisphere.

Affiliations: 1: a (NVS, correspondent) Department of Marine Sciences, University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Isla Magueyes Laboratories, P.O. Box 908, Lajas, Puerto Rico 00667, U.S.A. (; ; 2: b (TCS) Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412-5869, U.S.A. (


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