Thoracic epipodites in the Stomatopoda (Crustacea): a phylogenetic consideration



The structure of the thoracic epipodites on the stomatopod Hemisquilla ensigera (Owen) suggests that the primary function of these structures is respiratory. The presence of respiratory structures on the thoracic somites, coupled with other already published evidence links the hoplocarids and the other eumalacostracans to a common phyllocarid ancestor and argues against a polyphyletic origin for the Eumalacostraca.