Abstract

The first zoeal stage of the heterotreme domeciid crab Domecia glabra Alcock, 1899 (Trapezioidea), an obligate symbiont on hard corals, is described for the first time on the basis of laboratory-hatched material from Vanuatu. Its morphology is compared to other known zoeae of the Trapeziidae and Tetraliidae. The first stage zoea bears a remarkable similarity to larvae of the thoracotrematous Pinnotheridae, but the resemblance is superficial as their antennal morphologies are different. The key characters of Domecia ally it most closely with Tetralia in the Trapezioidea and supports molecular studies that they are sister taxa. Unfortunately, the zoeal and DNA studies do not give conclusive evidence with regard to whether the Domeciidae is truly trapezioid.

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