Salinity-driven size variability in Cyprideis torosa (Ostracoda, Crustacea)

Ian Boomer, Peter Frenzel, Martin Feike

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18 Citations (Scopus)
290 Downloads (Pure)


The living ostracod Cyprideis torosa (Jones, 1850) is geographically widespread, often abundant, occurring in modern and late Quaternary marginal-marine and athalassic environments world-wide. The species is capable of withstanding varying salinity over short (diurnal) timescales as well as adjusting to longer-term changes. Much attention has been paid in the past to the development of eco-phenotypic nodes and the shape of sieve-type pores on the external, lateral surfaces as indicators of particular salinity levels. In this paper we demonstrate a bi-modal distribution between shell size (which can be determined directly from optical microscopy) and the salinity of the water in which the carapace formed. Between almost ‘freshwater’ salinity of about 1 ‰ up to about 8 ‰ the length of C. torosa increases linearly by about 10 %, after this point there is a sharp break in the size-salinity relationship with carapace length reverting to values at or below those of freshwater and gradually declining in size by about 5 % through the observed range (a maximum salinity of almost 40 ‰ in this study). This switch in size-salinity relationship coincides with a physiologically important switch between hypo- and hyper-osmotic regulation at about 8 ‰ known for C. torosa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-69
JournalJournal of Micropalaeontology
Early online date4 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2017


  • Cyprideis
  • torosa
  • size
  • variability
  • salinity


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