Skip to main content
Unsupported Browser Detected

Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge.

Hawaiian Larval Stomatopods: Molecular and Morphological Diversity

December 01, 2022

We combine two approaches, larval morphology and genetics, to estimate stomatopod species diversity in the Hawaiian Islands.

Estimating stomatopod species diversity using morphology alone has long been difficult; though over 450 species have been described, new species are still being discovered regularly despite the cryptic behaviors of adults. However, the larvae of stomatopods are more easily obtained due to their pelagic habitat, and have been the focus of recent studies of diversity.

Studies of morphological diversity describe both conserved and divergent traits in larval stomatopods, but generally cannot be linked to a particular species. Conversely, genetic studies of stomatopod larvae using DNA barcoding can be used to estimate species diversity, but are generally not linked to known species by analyses of morphological characters. Here we combine these two approaches, larval morphology and genetics, to estimate stomatopod species diversity in the Hawaiian Islands.

This study contributes an updated estimate for Hawaiian stomatopod diversity for a total of 24 documented species, provides references for identification of larval stomatopods across the three major superfamilies, and emphasizes the lack of knowledge of species diversity in more cryptic stomatopod superfamilies, such as Lysiosquilloidea.


Kobayashi D, Whitney J, Steck M, Winnicki E, Ahyong A, Porter M. 2022. Hawaiian larval stomatopods: molecular and morphological diversity. Zootaxa 5214 (2): 235-260.  https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.5214.2.5.

Last updated by Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center on 12/01/2022