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Deep-Water Crustacea of the Genus Sergestes (Decapoda, Natantia) from Cook Strait, New Zealand

Colour in Life

Colour in Life

S. arcticus in life is transparent with red chromatophores scattered over the body and appendages, these being mainly concentrated on the carapace and mouth parts. Within the carapace itself the black stomach and the bright scarlet organs of Pesta are especially prominent.

In addition to the above general description the following details have been observed from fresh specimens. The chromatophores are especially concentrated dorsally on the carapace and the first two abdominal segments, while the rest of the abdomen is almost colourless except for some patches of chromatophores on the ventral surface of the 6th segment and at the base of the tail fan. The cornea is jet black and the eye stalk bears a few scattered red chromatophores. Of the mouth parts the 2nd maxilliped is the most prominent, many chromatophores occur on all segments especially on the distal two. All the setae of the mouth parts are themselves bright red. The ventral surface of the cephalothorax is also red and there is usually one chromatophore on the coxopodite of each pereiopod. In the male the petasma is sprinkled with small chromatophores at the same concentration as on the pleopods. Of the organs of Pesta only the anterior pair, slightly dorsal and posterior to the base of the mandible, are clearly visible through the carapace. These appear as circular scarlet bodies, becoming opaque yellow after preservation. The more dorsal organs cannot be clearly seen through the musculature of the body, but appear as strongly pigmented scarlet areas within the carapace.

Previous more or less complete descriptions of the colour of this species have been given by Kemp (1910a), Hansen (1922: 63, Pl. I, figs. 1, 2) and Holthuis