Reproductive biology

The eggs of all leptostracans, except possibly in Nebaliop-sis, are carried by the female in the thoracopod brood cham-

ber beneath her carapace. Development is embryonic and the young hatch as post larvae. These post-larval, or mancoid, stages differ from the adults in having a rudimentary fourth pleopod. The free-swimming, pelagic larva of Nebaliopsis has been found in plankton collections. In this genus, the eggs may not be carried in a brood pouch but laid directly into the water.

Water temperatures influence the length of time taken to reach maturity, the size at maturity, and the incubation time of young.

Transformations in the shape of the carapace, antennae, pleopods, and furca are gradual from molt to molt in immature and subadult males, and deviate from the female morphology, which generally remains unchanged except when reproductive.

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