Morphotypes of Cytheridella ilosvayi (Ostracoda) detected by soft and hard part analyses

in Crustaceana
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Quantitative approaches dealing with soft- and hard-part morphological variability of ostracods are very rare for most species. Here we present intraspecific limb and shell variability of the Neotropical freshwater ostracod species assumed as Cytheridella ilosvayi. For the first time such an analysis considered adult females and males, as well as juveniles. Variability of the appendages included the antennule, second antenna as well as the first and second thoracopod and was analysed in terms of ratios of podomeres, setae and limbs. Limb variability of adult and juvenile individuals (down to A-3) is generally low. The highest variation is shown in podomere proportions of the antennas, while thoracopods and setae provide minor and/or non-significant influence on the variability. Based on discrimination analyses shell parameters (i.e., shell length, position of the transversal sulcus) emerge to be more important for differentiation of groups than limb ratios. Adult females exhibit a large size range in which two clearly separated morphotypes exist. Although differences in limbs are small their existence can be proven also on the basis of proportions between podomeres of the antennas. Males and juveniles, however, do not display a separation into corresponding subgroups or morphotypes. The presence of two morphologically similar females and only one type of males indicates the coexistence of female morphotypes which may represent either two (cryptic) species or a mixed reproduction population in which parthenogenetic and sexual reproduction coexists.


International Journal of Crustacean Research



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  • Map of sampling localities Barro Branco and Lago Comprido (white circles), State of Amazonas, western, Brazil.

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  • Simplified appendages of Cytheridella ilosvayi Daday, 1905 used for morphological analyses: the antennule (A1), the second antenna (A2), the first and second thoracopod (T1, T2). Indicated are the measured lengths (dashed line) of podomeres and setae, respectively. Roman numerals refer to fifth to third and fourth to second podomeres, respectively, of the respective limb. For abbreviations see also abbreviation list in the text.

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  • Carapace size in terms of length and height of Cytheridella ilosvayi Daday, 1905 in adult females, males and juvenile instars down to A-3.

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  • Stacked pictures of each left and right shells of the two female morphotypes (♀1, ♀2), males (♂), and juveniles (A-1 to A-3) of Cytheridella ilosvayi Daday, 1905.

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  • SEM pictures of left and right shells of females (♀1, ♀2), males (♂), and juveniles (A-1 to A-3) of Cytheridella ilosvayi Daday, 1905.

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  • Variation ranges of the 24 measured limb ratios represented as boxplots for all investigated individuals (total), and separately for instars (A-1 and A-2/3), males and both female morphotypes (females 1 and 2). For codes of the morphological traits see abbreviation list in the text. Black dots represent outliers.

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  • Selected limb ratios of adult females, males and juveniles of Cytheridella ilosvayi Daday, 1905, displaying morphological trajectories (square = females 1, cross = females 2, diamond = males, triangle = A-1, oval = A-2/3). This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

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  • Scatter plots of the first against the second and third, respectively, discrimination functions for analyses of limb ratios, shell parameters and limb ratios combined with shell parameters (square = females 1, cross = females 2, diamond = males, triangle = A-1, oval = A-2/3). This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

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