The ostracod springtail — camera recordings of a previously undescribed high-speed escape jump in the genus Tanycypris (Ostracoda, Cypridoidea)

in Crustaceana
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During an ostracod sampling campaign in the city of Munich (Germany) samples were taken from containers in a greenhouse of the Munich Botanical Garden. Beside the ubiquitous species Cypridopsis vidua (O. F. Müller, 1776), the samples contained four alien species, i.e., Chlamydotheca arcuata (Sars, 1901), Strandesia bicuspis (Claus, 1892), Tanycypris centa Chang, Lee & Smith, 2012, and Tanycypris alfonsi Nagler, Geist & Matzke-Karasz, 2014. While sorting the living Tanycypris specimens, a yet undescribed usage of the caudal rami was observed. Freshwater ostracods usually move on or in the sediment by using their first and second antennae, walking legs and — if not reduced — their caudal rami. During (non-swimming) locomotion of most freshwater ostracods with well-developed caudal rami, they help pushing the body forward by being used as a lever. This movement can be fast, but has never been reported to include sudden jumps. In contrast, both investigated Tanycypris species show an extraordinarily fast movement, especially when disturbed. Recordings with a high-speed camera were made, shooting horizontally into a 1.5-mm-thick micro-aquarium. The fast movement could be identified as a powerful jump, much resembling the movement of a catapult, propelled by a very rapid repulsion of the caudal rami from the ground. Although sized only around 1 mm, the observed specimens reached top speeds of up to 0.75 ms−1. Anatomically, this speed is obtained by the exceptional length of the caudal rami in Tanycypris, combined with a well-developed musculature, which stretches from a broadened posterior end of soft body along the so-called ‘caudal rami attachment’. The jump itself resembles that of springtails or fleas, where the jump is powered by the energy previously stored in an elastic proteinaceous material; however, in Tanycypris no such mechanism could be detected and thus the energy for the catapult-like jump must be considered muscular, possibly aided by tendon-like structures and/or a mechanism involving a muscular pre-tension by a click-joint as recorded for Squillids.

The ostracod springtail — camera recordings of a previously undescribed high-speed escape jump in the genus Tanycypris (Ostracoda, Cypridoidea)

in Crustaceana

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References

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Figures

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    Tanycypris centa Chang, Lee & Smith, 2012 (above) and Tanycypris alfonsi Nagler, Geist & Matzke-Karasz, 2014 (below), anterior to left. In the latter, right below a feces pellet accidentally left behind in the carapace lumen, the huge white muscles stretching along the caudal rami attachment are visible. Scale bar = 100 μm. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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    Tanycypris alfonsi Nagler, Geist & Matzke-Karasz, 2014 (a-d, f) and Eucypis virens (Jurine, 1820) (e). a, ventral view, anterior to right, arrow indicating the distal tips of the caudal rami reaching to the mouth region. b, anterior region of caudal rami attachment, with ventral branch (vb), dorsal branch (db), Triebel loop (Tl) and second window (sw). c, view of entire animal with right valve removed, caudal rami (cr) and caudal rami attachment (cra), the latter obscured by musculature. d, ventral view without carapace (anterior to left), with black line showing the long distance (dist) from elevated female reproductive area to middle of the caudal rami point of origin. e, posterior ventral view of female E. virens, with black line showing the short distance (dist) from elevated female reproductive area to middle of the caudal rami point of origin. Posterior end of soft body without special features. f, posterior ventral view of Tanycypris alfonsi female, showing the point where caudal rami fuse with caudal rami attachment, here forming wing-like processes (wi). Scale bars = 10 μm for b, 100 μm for a, c-f.

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    Tanycypris centa Chang, Lee & Smith, 2012: Example of a jump, showing the extension angle of the caudal rami over the period of a single jump. Still images of the camera recordings of the respective phases are shown below the graph.

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    Tanycypris centa Chang, Lee & Smith, 2012: For ten jumps (Tanycypris 1 to Tanycypris 10), the extension angles of the caudal rami have been visualized as a function of time. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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    Tomography of Tanycypris alfonsi Nagler, Geist & Matzke-Karasz, 2014 (above) and Tanycypris centa Chang, Lee & Smith, 2012 (below) posterior bodies (anterior to left): caudal rami (cr) and caudal rami attachment (cra) are connected in the posterior-most edge of the soft body. The caudal rami attachment embraces the hind body laterally, branching out anteriorly with a Triebel loop (Tl). It accommodates huge muscle bundles that move the caudal rami. The specimen of Tancypris centa is infected by microorganisms, most probably fungi (fp fecal pellet caught in the carapace lumen). Scale bars = 100 μm. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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    Tomography of Tanycypris alfonsi Nagler, Geist & Matzke-Karasz, 2014 focusing on the caudal rami attachment (cra) of the left body side (anterior to left). Dorsal to the Triebel loop (Tl), a small second window (sw) leads over to the thin dorsal branch (db), which points to the body center. The dorsal muscle (dm) connects the dorsal branch with the inner carapace wall more anteriorly. Scale bar = 100 μm. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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    Tomographic cross-sections through a Tanycypris alfonsi Nagler, Geist & Matzke-Karasz, 2014 specimen in a consecutive sequence from posterior to anterior. Cross-sections of the muscle bundles A-D of the main caudal rami muscle change their shape from round/oval in the posterior region to much more rectangular/linear towards anterior. Muscle bundle B attaches to the main trunk of the caudal ramus attachment (cra), while the bundles A, C and D attach to the dorsal branch (db) of the Triebel loop. A further muscle (dm) connects the anterior side of the dorsal branch with the carapace dorsally. Scale 100 μm. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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    Tomographies of Tanycypris alfonsi Nagler, Geist & Matzke-Karasz, 2014, six virtual sections of the joint between caudal rami and cauda rami attachments. Lateral views at different levels, showing a highly structured joint, possibly allowing for a click-joint-mechanism. At different scales. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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    The maximum extension measured for a specific jump of Tanycypris centa Chang, Lee & Smith, 2012 positively correlates with the maximum velocity measured for this jump.

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    Absolute velocity measured in periods of milliseconds as a function of time; here done exemplarily for three jumps of Tanycypris centa Chang, Lee & Smith, 2012. Acceleration peaks within the first few milliseconds to then abruptly decrease again. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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    Tanycypris centa Chang, Lee & Smith, 2012: the maximum extension measured for a specific jump positively correlates with the calculated exerted force over the entire jump.

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    Tanycypris centa Chang, Lee & Smith, 2012: maximum velocities reached during a specific jump positively correlates with the calculated exerted force over the entire jump.

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    Bradleystrandesia fuscata (Jurine, 1820): caudal ramus attachment with musculature. This species — also from the family Cypricercinae — shows much weaker developed muscles (m) in this area than the genus Tanycypris. The Triebel loop (Tl) has a different orientation, stabilizing the ventral and not the dorsal branch of the attachment. Scale 100 μm.

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    Tomography of Tanycypris alfonsi Nagler, Geist & Matzke-Karasz, 2014 with anterior part of caudal rami attachment (cra) of the left body side. The dorsal branch reaches over towards the center of the body, while the light-weight construction of Triebel loop (Tl) and second window (sw) prevent the dorsal branch from folding down during muscle tension. Scale bar = 100 μm. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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