, Volume 152, Issue 3, pp 733-744
Date: 12 Jun 2007

Larval development of Lightiella magdalenina (Crustacea, Cephalocarida)

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The larval development of the newly discovered cephalocarid from Mediterranean sea, Lightiella magdalenina, was analysed using light and scanning electron microscopy. Twenty-nine larval specimens, divided into 15 metanaupliar and 2 juvenile stages of development, were found. The first six metanaupliar stages had an even number (6, 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16) of trunk segments including telson. The condition of 20 trunk segments, typical of the adult, was reached after another 4 stages by the addition of a single segment per stage. At this tenth stage, the larvae had an incomplete number of trunk limbs. Another five stages were needed to complete the cephalic appendage development, passing from the metanaupliar to the juvenile stage, characterized by loss of the naupliar enditic process of the second antenna. Trunk limbs development was completed during the last two juvenile stages. According to the ontogenetic data reported for Hutchinsoniella macracantha and Lightiella incisa, these seventeen stages probably do not represent the complete developmental series. Nevertheless, they allow us to clarify the main features of cephalocarid ontogeny and show specific differences in the development of both the trunk segments and appendages.

Communicated by R. Cattaneo-Vietti.