Comprehensive Description

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Populations from different regions of the area of distribution exhibit small morphological differences. Individuals from the Polar Basin, Bering Sea, and the Pacific Ocean coast of Canada (typical Hyperia medusarum) are much larger, with much longer setae on pereopods I and II. Populations from the southern part of the area of distribution (for example, coastal areas between San Diego and Vancouver and off Japan) are smaller and exhibit morphological differences which led Bovallius (1889) to describe them as a separate species, H. hystrix. Stephensen (1924) studied the syntypes of Bovallius and treated H. hystrix as a synonym of H. medusarum. Bowman (1973) analyzed vast material and found specimens incorporating characters of both forms, which compelled him to support the opinion of Stephensen. Living in notal waters, H. gaudichaudi M.-Edw. is morphologically identical to the northern H. medusarum F. hystrix and recognition of its specific separate identity can only be based on its scattered area of distribution.


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© Dunn , Adam

Source: Pelagic Invertebrates LifeDesk

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