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Scyllarus arctus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Scyllaridae) final stage phyllosoma identified by DNA analysis, with morphological description

  • Ferran Palero (a1) (a2), Guillermo Guerao (a3), Paul F. Clark (a4) and Pere Abelló (a2)


Advanced stages of Scyllarus phyllosoma larvae were collected by demersal trawling during fishery research surveys in the western Mediterranean Sea in 2003–2005. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the mitochondrial 16S rDNA gene allowed the final-stage phyllosoma of Scyllarus arctus to be identified among these larvae. Its morphology is described and illustrated. This constitutes the second complete description of a Scyllaridae phyllosoma with its specific identity being validated by molecular techniques (the first was S. pygmaeus). These results also solved a long lasting taxonomic anomaly of several species assigned to the ancient genus Phyllosoma Leach, 1814. Detailed examination indicated that the final-stage phyllosoma of S. arctus shows closer affinities with the American scyllarid Scyllarus depressus or with the Australian Scyllarus sp. b (sensu Phillips et al., 1981) than to its sympatric species S. pygmaeus.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: F. Palero, Evolutionary Genetics, Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA), Am Campus 1, A–3400 Klosterneuburg, Austria email:


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