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Published in: Helgoland Marine Research, Vol. 66, 2012


Complete larval series are known for only three of the 39 valid species worldwide in the genus Lysmata. The present work deals with the larval development of two closely related trans-isthmian species of Lysmata, L. galapagensis (eastern Pacific Ocean), and L. moorei (southwestern Atlantic Ocean), using laboratory cultured material. The morphological features of the first four zoeal stages of both species, the fifth to seventh stages of L. galapagensis, and the last stage of L. moorei are described and compared with the larval descriptions currently available for the genus. Larvae of both species hatch with a similar form to L. seticaudata, with their first and fifth pereiopods as buds, and show a very steady development of their morphological characters. The zoeal characters match the phylogenetic results currently available for the genus Lysmata and L. galapagensis, L. moorei and L. seticaudata belong to the same monophyletic clade. We hypothesize that the larvae of all species within this clade will hatch with the first and fifth pereiopods as buds and will present a maximum of nine zoeal stages. The relationships between the studied material and the composite larval genus Eretmocaris are discussed, with emphasis on Eretmocaris corniger which has an extremely long rostrum and a spine on the dorsal surface of the third pleomere, characters also recorded in L. galapagensis. The larval forms earlier described as the tropical eastern Pacific E. corniger are matched to a known Lysmata species, L. galapagensis. The identity of E. corniger larvae recorded one century ago from the tropical eastern Atlantic is also discussed.

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