Leptochiton; Radsia; Schizoplax; valve morphology; histology; larvae;
pp. 55 -

The extant polyplacophoran tail valve is traditionally considered as a unity despite its clear separation into two distinct regions, which were in relation to the delimiting point – the mucro – termed the antemucronal area for the front part and the postmucronal area for the hindermost region. However, earlier conceptions do exist, which consider the postmucronal area as semiplate, with the antemucronal area as modified “intermediate” plate.

To test the usefulness of the terms “antemucronal” and “postmucronal” in their traditionally sense, three independent attempts were made to demonstrate existing differences between the mucro-separated areas.

Leptochiton rugatus was histologically examined allowing the confirmation of a cardial complex-antemucronal relation. Valve morphology of the brood of Radsia nigrovirescens not only confirms a tegmental development prior the building of the articulamentum but shows that the postmucronal area develops to its final shape before the antemucronal area appears. For the first time it is demonstrated that the antemucronal area of Schizoplax brandtii shows a delayed splitting of the relevant area, characteristic for the conditions found in the intermediate valves of this species only. That leads to the assumption that the underlying valve build processes are of the same nature as in the intermediate valves. Additionally, literature data on valve characters were compiled that show a stronger relationship (61%) of the antemucronal area to the central area of intermediate valves rather than to the merged postmucronal area. In the light of this evaluation it is suggested that the term “tail valve” should be used to demonstrate the merged condition of two independent zones only, the antemucronal area and the postmucronal area.

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Швабе Э.;