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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Dissodactylusrugatus is a small parasitic crab occurring on the irregular urchin Clypeaster rosaceus. The larval phase consists of three zoeal stages and a megalopa. Eggs were incubated by females for 11-13 days at 27°C. Average duration of zoeal stages was 2.1, 2.8, and 3.1 days, respectively, with metamorphosis to the megalopa occurring as early as the eighth day (mean 9.0). In the absence of a host no megalopa successfully molted to the first crab instar. Dissodactylus rugatus is one of three sympatric species for which the complete larval development is known. In comparison to D. crinitichelis and D. primitivus, zoeae of D. rugatus are more compact, having the shortest spines and an intermediate-sized carapace. Other differences are seen in developmental time, and in setation, with fewer plumodenticulate setae on the basipodite of maxilliped 1 in all zoeal stages. The megalopa is also of intermediate size, but setation of the antenna, the dactyl of maxilliped 3, and dactyls of the pereiopods is characteristically unlike that of species previously described. The undifferentiated exopodite bud of maxilliped 3 is seen as a potential character specific to the genus Dissodactylus. Examination of holotypes showed Dissodactylus rugatus Bouvier, 1917, to be an earlier synonym of D. calmani Rathbun, 1918.

Affiliations: 1: Huntsman Marine Laboratory, Brandy Cove, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, EOG 2X0, Canada


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