SEM studies on the early larval development of Triops cancriformis (Bosc)(Crustacea: Branchiopoda, Notostraca)


O. S. Møller, Department of Zoomorphology, Zoological Institute, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 15, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark. E-mail:


We investigated early larval development in the notostracan Triops cancriformis (Bosc, 1801–1802) raised from dried cysts under laboratory conditions. We document the five earliest stages using scanning electron microscopy. The stage I larva is a typical nauplius, lecithotropic and without trunk limbs. The stage II larva is feeding and has trunk limb precursors and a larger carapace. Stage III larvae have larger trunk limbs and a more adult shape. Stage IV larvae have well developed trunk limbs, and stage V larvae show atrophy of the antennae. We describe the ontogeny of selected features such as trunk limbs and carapace, discuss ontogeny and homologization of head appendages, follow the development of the feeding mechanism, and discuss trunk limb ontogeny.