The post-embryonic development of Remipedia (Crustacea)—additional results and new insights

  • Stefan Koenemann
  • Jørgen Olesen
  • Frederike Alwes
  • Thomas M. Iliffe
  • Mario Hoenemann
  • Petra Ungerer
  • Carsten Wolff
  • Gerhard ScholtzEmail author
Original Article


The post-embryonic development of a species of the enigmatic crustacean group Remipedia is described in detail for the first time under various aspects. Applying a molecular approach, we can clearly prove the species identity of the larvae as belonging to Pleomothra apletocheles. We document the cellular level of several larval stages and the differentiation of segments, limbs, and the general body morphology applying the techniques of confocal laser scanning microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. In addition, we document the swimming behavior and the peculiar movements of the naupliar appendages. A comparison of our results with published data on other Crustacea and their larval development tentatively supports ideas about phylogenetic affinities of the Remipedia to the Malacostraca.


Arthropod evolution Nauplius larva Anamorphic development Swimming behavior Limb formation 



Collection expeditions to Abaco were funded by grants from the Biodiversity Surveys and Inventories Program, NSF (DEB-0315903) (T.M.I.), and German Research Foundation (DFG KO 3483/1-1) (S.K.). Collection of specimens was carried out under Bahamas Department of Fisheries marine resource collection permit (T.M.I.). SEM pictures were made at the Zoologisk Museum, Statens Naturhistoriske Museum, Københavns Universitet funded by Synthesys DK-TAF-3371. Logistical assistance for field work in Abaco was provided by Nancy Albury (Friends of the Environment, Abaco). In addition to T. Iliffe and M. Hoenemann, other March 2006 Abaco expedition team members included Renee Bishop, Brett Gonzalez, Lara Hinderstein, Brian Kakuk, Gregg Stanton, Tamara Thomsen, and Ute Wollermann, while August 2006 collections were carried out by B. Kakuk and T. Iliffe.

Supplementary material

427_2009_273_MOESM1_ESM.mpg (7 mb)
ESM 1 The movie shows the movements of the appendages of an orthonauplius (first part) and a metanauplius (second part) of the remipede crustacean P. apletocheles video-recorded in a Petri dish with cave water. Please note the impressive flexibility of the mandibles (third pair of appendages) (compare with Fig. 6). (MPG 7.02 MB).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Koenemann
    • 1
  • Jørgen Olesen
    • 2
  • Frederike Alwes
    • 3
  • Thomas M. Iliffe
    • 4
  • Mario Hoenemann
    • 1
  • Petra Ungerer
    • 3
  • Carsten Wolff
    • 3
  • Gerhard Scholtz
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute for Animal Ecology and Cell BiologyUniversity of Veterinary Medicine HannoverHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Natural History Museum of DenmarkCopenhagen UniversityCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Institut für Biologie/Vergleichende ZoologieHumboldt-Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Department of Marine BiologyTexas A&M University at GalvestonGalvestonUSA

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