The common morphospecies Cypridopsis vidua (O.F. MÜLLER, 1776) (Crustacea, Ostracoda) is not an obligate parthenogen


  • Koen Martens Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Freshwater Biology, Vautierstraat 29, Brussels 1000 and Ghent University, Department of Biology, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, 9000 Ghent
  • Michael Shribak Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole MA
  • Irina Arkhipova Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole MA
  • Isa Schön Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Freshwater Biology, Vautierstraat 29, Brussels 1000 and Centre of Environmental Sciences (CMK), University of Hasselt, 3590 Diepenbeek



mixed reproduction, male morphology, copula, insemination, polychromatic polarization microscopy


The common non-marine ostracod Cypridopsis vidua (O.F. Müller, 1776) is used as a proxy in various biological disciplines, such as (palaeo-)ecology, evolutionary biology, ecotoxicology and parasitology. This morphospecies was considered to be an obligate parthenogen. We report on the discovery of the first population of C. vidua with males from Woods Hole (MA, USA) and determine that it is a population with mixed reproduction. We describe the morphology of the males and of the sexual and asexual females. We illustrate a copula of a male and a sexual female as well insemination in a sexual female, showing that males are functional. Therefore, Cypridopsis vidua is a morphospecies with mixed reproduction, not a full apomictic parthenogen. We use, for the first time, polychromatic polarization microscope technology to illustrate soft parts of ostracods. In addition, we compare the sexual species C. bisexualis, C. okeechobei, C. howei and C. schwartzi and conclude that these species, especially the latter three, are morphologically very close to C. vidua.


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How to Cite

Martens, K., Shribak, M., Arkhipova, I., & Schön, I. (2023). The common morphospecies Cypridopsis vidua (O.F. MÜLLER, 1776) (Crustacea, Ostracoda) is not an obligate parthenogen. Belgian Journal of Zoology, 153.