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Triops longicaudatus - Triops

Triops longicaudatus - Triops
Dog Canyon, Otero County, New Mexico, USA
July 26, 2006

Images of this individual: tag all
Triops longicaudatus - Triops Triops longicaudatus - Triops

Thanks for the ventral shot! - T. longicaudatus
Unfortunately the two species of Triops found in the southwest can be tricky to identify, with the most significant differentiating characters being the number of abdominal rings, number of legless rings, and the number of spines on the dorsum of the telson. There appear to be 9-10 legless rings in this photograph, which would support your identification of Triops longicaudatus. Its cousin T. newberryi (whose legless rings are usually 7-8) is also uncommon in New Mexico. T. newberryi is usually found in large playa lakes, whereas T. longicaudatus is typically found in smaller bodies of water like vernal prairie pools. What sort of habitat did you encounter this individual in?

For more information on the distribution of North American Triops, see:

C. Sassaman, M. A. Simovich & M. Fugate (1997). "Reproductive isolation and genetic differentiation in North American species of Triops (Crustacea: Branchiopoda: Notostraca)". Hydrobiologia 359 (1-3): 125–147.

Thank you for the comments. The habitat was a road side ditch in an area of desert scrub. Also in a low spot in the bottom of a gravel pit. They can be fairly abundant there, on the rare occasions that it stays flooded long enough.

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