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Scanning electron microscopy of the cypris larvae of Capitulum mitella (Cirripedia: Thoracica: Scalpellomorpha)

  • Xiaozhen Rao (a1) and Gang Lin (a1)


Adult specimens of Capitulum mitella were collected in August 2011 in the intertidal zone of Dinghai, Fuzhou, Fujian, China (26°16′N 119°48′E). The morphology of the cypris larva reared under our conditions was determined using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Special emphasis was given to the carapace, lattice organs, antennules, thoracopods and furcal rami. The whole carapace surface is sculptured by slender ridges demarcating rectangular or irregular polygonal areas with very fine pores. The cyprid possesses five pairs of lattice organs, arranged as two anterior and three posterior pairs. The second segment carries a preaxial seta 2 and a postaxial seta 2. The third segment carries a postaxial seta 3 outside the attachment disc, whereas a postaxial disc seta, an axial disc seta and two radial disc setae are located inside the attachment disc. The attachment disc is somewhat bell shaped. A series of slender cuticular flaps forms a distinct ‘velum’ around the base of the disc. The fourth segment carries four subterminal setae and five terminal setae. The cyprid bears six pairs of biramous natatory thoracopods consisting of a protopod (coxa + basis), a two-segmented exopod and a two-segmented endopod. The cyprid possesses a rudimentary abdomen and an almost completely cleaved telson with a pair of one-segmented furcal rami. The morphology and setation of the antennules of C. mitella resemble those of Balanus amphitrite (=Amphibalanus amphitrite) and Megabalanus rosa, but differ in some morphological details.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: X. Rao, College of Life Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou 350108, China email:


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Scanning electron microscopy of the cypris larvae of Capitulum mitella (Cirripedia: Thoracica: Scalpellomorpha)

  • Xiaozhen Rao (a1) and Gang Lin (a1)


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