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Morphological and Developmental Differences in Three Species of the Snapping Shrimp Genus Alpheus
Heather R. Spence1 and Robert E. Knowlton2,*
Abstract – Living, freshly collected individuals of three species of snapping shrimps were studied to determine any differing morphological, developmental, and ecological features: Alpheus heterochaelis, collected from Beaufort, NC; A. angulosus, found mainly in Jacksonville, FL, but also at one site in Beaufort; and A. estuariensis, collected at another Jacksonville site. Structural characteristics of these superfi cially
similar species are summarized, with particular attention to coloration. Adult A. angulosus individuals have blue-green 2nd antennal fl agella (vs. tan in the other two species) that are signifi cantly shorter than those of A. heterochaelis. Alpheus angulosus and A. estuariensis bear smaller eggs (<1 mm, regardless of embryonic stage) than A. heterochaelis (>1 mm), and the former species displays the zoea larval form
typical of alpheids (vs. abbreviated larval development in A. heterochaelis).