Mouthpart and digestive tract structure in four talitrid amphipods from a translittoral series in Tasmania
Johnston, MD and Johnston, DJ and Richardson, AMM, Mouthpart and digestive tract structure in four talitrid amphipods from a translittoral series in Tasmania, Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdon, 84, (4) pp. 717-726. ISSN 0025-3154 (2004) [Refereed Article]
Structural adaptations of the mouthparts and digestive tract of four talitrid amphipods were examined in relation to diet, habitat and phylogeny. The species differed in their habitat relative to the shoreline and also in their diet: a 5-dentate 'sandrunner', Talorchestia species II (a mid to low shore intertidal diatom feeder), a 5-dentate sandhopper, Talorchestia marmorata (a strandline kelp feeder); a 4-dentate sandhopper, Talorchestia species I (extreme high shore, feeding on spinifex grasses), and a 4-dentate landhopper, Keratroides vulgaris (forest leaf litter, litter feeding). Gross structural characteristics of the mouthparts were similar among all three Talorchestia species reflecting their phylogenetic relatedness. Increased setation and minor structural differences among the Talorchestia species could be attributed to dietary differences, reflecting the zones across the shoreline that they inhabit. Mouthparts of K. vulgaris were elongate, with markedly different setation to the Talorchestia species, reflecting its more distant phylogenetic position and its diet of decaying leaf litter. Digestive tract structure was more conserved among all species due to their phylogenetic relatedness. The gross digestive structure conformed to the general plan exhibited by most gammaridcan amphipods. However, an additional pair of lateral pyloric caeca was evident in all species, the function of which is uncertain.