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STOMATOPODS Mantis Shrimps ID hint: The relatively large stomatopod larvae typically have oversized and spiny carapaces , conspicuous claws, and are unlike those produced by any other crustacean group. Squilla empusa and other mantis shrimps Occurrence. Squilla empusa is the most common stomatopod in nearshore waters, both along the coast and in higher-salinity reaches of estuaries from Maine to Texas. Other stomatopods, including Neogonodactylus spp., are widespread from North Carolina south to Texas. Cloridopsis dubia occurs in Southeast estuaries. Larvae are most abundant in warmer months. Biology and Ecology. The larvae are formidable predators and use their claws to strike their victims with amazing speed. Larval development in Squilla includes nine stages and a postlarva, all relatively similar. Because of their size and mobility, larvae are best collected using large nets with at least 500 µm mesh. Stomatopod larvae are little studied compared with the adults, and relatively few have even been described. As a result, we lack definitive information about the abundances and distributions of the individual species and know virtually nothing of their biology in the field. In laboratory cultures, S. empusa can be raised on brine shrimp: early stages on nauplii and later stages on adults. Although the mantis shrimps share many features with the decapods, they constitute a separate crustacean group. References. Diaz 1998; Morgan 1980; Morgan and Provenzano 1979; Pyne 1972. Mantis shrimp antizoea larvae Occurrence: Some mantis shrimps (Superfamily Lysiosquilloidea) have a distinctive first larval stage, the antizoae, which is not seen in Squilla or other mantis shrimps. These larvae appear in nearshore waters along the Mid-Atlantic Coast but probably range much more widely in both Atlantic and Gulf waters. The most common nearshore adults in this group, Lysiosquilla scabricauda and Coronis scolopendra, are reported from the Carolinas southward in the Atlantic and in the Gulf. Bigelowina biminiensis occurs in Gulf nearshore waters and is reported from North Carolina. Biology and Ecology. Few antizoea from the Atlantic and Gulf have been described or studied. The zoeal stages following the antizoea resemble those of Squilla. References. Rodrigues and Manning 1992; Young 2001. STOMATOPODS 263 • carapace thin, transparent, wide, and rectangular (1) • prominent straight dorsal spine (2) • long rostrum with ventral teeth (3) • paired, long spines on posterior of carapace (4) • large eyes on narrow stalks (5) • very large first maxillipeds with flat "hand" (shown open in side view, closed in ventral view) (6) • telson elongate and rectangular with furca and numerous small spines along sides (7) • other stages: usually 9 stages (largest >17 mm long) with similar body plan, telson, and maxillipeds until the latest stages • similar species: most of these distinctive features are found in other stomatopod species; larvae of most have not been described Squilla empusa stage II larva 7 side view 1 2 3 4 5 6 4 1 mm ventral view Coronis sp. antizoea • carapace longer than broad with dorsal spine slightly curved down (1) • eyes not stalked (2) • posteriolateral spines straight but slightly ventrally directed (3) • rostrum smooth and ventrally directed (4) • 5 pairs of biramous thoracic appendages and no abdominal appendages (5) • similar species: other stomatopod larvae have long, spined carapaces that are not fused to most thoracic segments, but only antizoeae are lacking abdominal appendages and claws 1mm 1 5 4 3 2 ...


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