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Comparative morphology of the feeding appendages of four mesozooplankton species in the Sundays River estuary
Jerling, H.L.; Wooldridge, T. (1994). Comparative morphology of the feeding appendages of four mesozooplankton species in the Sundays River estuary. S. Afr. J. Zool. 29(4): 252-257
In: South African Journal of Zoology = Suid-Afrikaanse Tydskrif vir Dierkunde. Foundation for Education, Science and Technology: Pretoria. ISSN 0254-1858, more
Peer reviewed article  

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    Animal appendages; Animal morphology; Competition; Diets; Feeding behaviour; Invertebrates; Invertebrates; Invertebrates; Marine crustaceans; Morphology; Morphology; Morphology; Taxonomy; Acartia Dana, 1846 [WoRMS]; Mesopodopsis Czerniavsky, 1882 [WoRMS]; Pseudodiaptomus Herrick, 1884 [WoRMS]; Rhopalophthalmus Illig, 1906 [WoRMS]; PSW, South Africa, Cape Prov., Sundays Estuary [Marine Regions]; Marine; Brackish water

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  • Jerling, H.L.
  • Wooldridge, T., more

    The morphology of feeding appendages of the coexisting estuarine copepods, Pseudodiaptomus hessei and Acartia longipatella, and mysids, Rhopalophthalmus terranatalis and Mesopodopsis wooldridgei, were examined and compared as an aid in elucidating dietary differences. The robust mandibles of P. Hessei copepodids compared to the more pointed and slender teeth with no molar region, of A. Longipatella suggest that the latter species relies on more fragile food particles. Mandible edge indices indicate, however, omnivorous feeding by both species. No clear dietary differences could be deduced from the dimensions of the second maxillae of these copepods. Mandible edge indices calculated for the mysid species suggest a more herbivorous feeding mode in M. Wooldridgei and a more carnivorous one in R. Terranatalis, supporting previous studies on their diets. No interspecific differences between the mysid size classes were evident from edge indices. Significant increments in setae and setule lengths and spacing with increasing mysid size class were evident, reflecting differences in food particle sizes utilized. The morphological differences in the feeding apparatus could reflect differences in the diets between species and indicate differences in food particle sizes utilized by the various developmental stages within species. These differences in diet should reduce inter- and intraspecific competition.

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