Zoology Publications from Victoria University of Wellington—Nos. 78, 79 and 80
In a recently published monograph the larvae and larval development of 53 species of Brachyura (including the Dromiacea) are described from New Zealand waters (Wear & Fielder, 1985). The work covers 72% of the crab species known as adults from 43 genera (90% of the fauna) representing all 16 families known to occur. During the course of this long-term study occupying the 15 years 1968 to 1982, larvae of a number of other decapod species were hatched and sometimes reared. Some of these have been described while others are lodged in the National Museum of New Zealand pending description.
A survey of the published literature, of graduate theses held by New Zealand Universities, and of National Museum material, provides information on the larvae of New Zealand species of the families Penaeidae and Sergestidae, and from most families in the Caridea, Macrura Reptantia, and Anomura. However, no major group is covered sufficiently well to justify a second "atlas"-type monograph at this stage. At the level of family, the Porcellanidae (Anomura) are best known through the work of Greenwood (1965, 1966) and Wear (1964a, 1964b, 1965b, 1965c, 1965d, 1966), and detailed descriptions are given in an account of larvae of the caridean families Crangonidae, Hippolytidae and Palaemonidae by Packer (1983) in his graduate thesis at Victoria University of Wellington. A guide for the identification of these caridean larvae, and those of the caridean families Alpheidae and Ogyrididae, page 2is given by Packer (1985).
Although an "atlas" to accompany that of the New Zealand Brachyura is presently inappropriate, there is sufficient information available to proceed with this check list and annotated bibliography as the simplest direct guide to published and unpublished literature, and to the availability of research material, for students of decapod larvae and for scientists working on the zooplankton of our coastal and near offshore waters. Workers wishing to identify planktonic larvae other than the Brachyura should first refer to Williamson's (1957, 1982) illustrated keys to the decapod larvae from European waters. These keys include guides to broad taxonomic groupings which have general relevance worldwide, often to the level of family. A second appropriate step is to consult Gurney's (1942) "Larvae of Decapod Crustacea", which is still the finest synthesis of decapod larval characters yet published. Additional supporting information is available in Bourdillon-Casanova (1960). Short descriptions of larvae of species occurring in New Zealand and Eastern Australian waters are contained in the works of Robert Gurney published in the 1924, 1936 and 1938 reports of the "Terra Nova", "Discovery" and Great Barrier Reef Expeditions respectively. These early records are valuable guides to the identity of several families and genera from which larvae are otherwise undescribed.
This checklist and annotated bibliography includes only those decapods from which larvae have been hatched from adults identified to species, or where in my opinion the evidence is sufficiently strong to establish species indentity beyond reasonable doubt. In cases where early larval descriptions have been superseded by more recent and detailed work, only the most useful and definitive reference is given following the entry for each species. Multiple references are given, where justified, on the basis of additional illustrations or supplementary information, or to support Packer's (1983) unpublished thesis. Seven decapod species hatched, and in some cases reared through all or part of their respective larval development by the author, are accordingly credited (R.G.W.) and included in the following sections together with their relevant National Museum of New Zealand catalogue numbers (N.M.N.Z. Cr.). Full descriptions of these larval life-histories will ultimately be published, but until that time, access to the Museum material may be granted if appropriate.