Cypris morphology in the barnacles Ibla and Paralepas (crustacea: Cirripedia thoracica) implications for cirripede evolution

Jens T. Høeg, Yair Achituv, Benny K.K. Chan, Karen Chan, Peter Gram Jensen, Marcos Pérez-Losada

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14 Scopus citations


We used scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to describe cypris morphology in species of the barnacles Ibla and Paralepas, both of which are pivotal in understanding cirripede evolution. In Ibla, we also studied late naupliar stages with video and SEM. Special emphasis was put on the lattice organs, the antennules and the thorax and telson. In Paralepas we had settled specimens only and could therefore only investigate the carapace with the lattice organs. Cyprids of Ibla quadrivalvis and Paralepas dannevigi have five sets of lattice organs, grouped as two anterior and three posterior pairs. The organs are of the pore-field type and the terminal pore is situated anteriorly in the first pair, just as in the Rhizocephala and the Thoracica. In Ibla the armament of antennular sensilla resembles that found in the Thoracica but differs from the Rhizocephala. The absence of setules on the A and B setae sited terminally on the fourth antennular segment is a similarity with the Acrothoracica. The attachment disc is angled rather than facing distally and is encircled by a low cuticular velum. The thoracopods have two-segmented endopods and exopods as in the Thoracica, but the number, shape, and position of thoracopodal setae differ somewhat from other species of that superorder. Both Ibla and Paralepas cyprids have a deeply cleaved telson, but no independent abdominal part. In cypris morphology, Ibla and Paralepas show several synapomorphies with the clade comprising Rhizocephala and Thoracica and there are no specific apomorphies with either the Acrothoracica, the Rhizocephala or any particular subgroup within the Thoracica. This is in agreement with recent molecular evidence that Ibla (Ibliformes) is the sister taxon to all other Thoracica and the ibliforms therefore become the outgroup of choice for studying character evolution within the superorder. Paralepas, and other pedunculated barnacles without shell plates, are apparently not primitive but are secondarily evolved and nested within the Thoracica.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-255
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Morphology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Antennules
  • Cyprid
  • Ibla cumingi
  • Ibla quadrivalvis
  • Ibliformes
  • Lattice organs
  • Lepadiformes
  • Nauplius
  • Paralepas dannevigi
  • Phylogeny
  • SEM
  • Thecostraca


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