The genus Hippolyte is represented by typically small shrimps with intriguing mechanisms of reproduction. In order to study possible variability in reproductive aspects among different populations, we conducted an exhaustive comparative study of H. obliquimanus from South (Brazil) and Central American (Costa Rica) waters. The study focuses on fecundity and reproductive output. Mean size of ovigerous females was significantly larger, and both mean reproductive output and mean fecundity were significantly higher in specimens from Costa Rica then in those collected in Brazil. Embryo volume was significantly smaller in the Costa Rican population, and in both populations embryos doubled their volume during embryogenesis. We discuss and compare our findings with the information available regarding H. obliquimanus and other hippolytid shrimp. The reproductive traits of both populations of H. obliquimanus show some important differences which may reflect adaptations to local environmental conditions, demonstrating a high plasticity of reproductive features of the species in Brazilian and Costa Rican waters.
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Vol. 30 • No. 4