, Volume 129, Issue 3, pp 477-487

International Study on Artemia . LVII. Morphological and molecular characters suggest conspecificity of all bisexual European and North African Artemia populations

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A scanning electron microscopy (SEM) study of bisexual Artemia populations revealed that populations representing the species A. franciscana, A. persimilis, A. urmiana, A. sinica and a recently described species from Kazakhstan have a pair of spine-like outgrowths at the basal parts of their penes, whereas populations from southern Europe and North Africa (i.e. Mediterranean populations) lack these spine-like outgrowths. Allozyme and DNA polymorphisms, detected by allozyme starch gel electrophoresis and AFLP fingerprinting, respectively, suggested conspecificity of the studied populations from the broader Mediterranean basin. Male specimens from the collection of the Natural History Museum of London (UK) of the extinct A. salina population from Lymington lack spine-like outgrowths at the basal parts of the penes. This finding, based on a taxonomic character which is quite reliable, suggests conspecificity of A. salina from Lymington and the present bisexual Artemia populations from the Mediterranean basin, grouped under the binomen A. tunisiana.