Tunisia has many Artemia populations, but little information is available concerning their taxonomy, biometry and morphology. This work is an updated systematic inventory of Artemia populations in Tunisia, based on the comparison of different morphometric parameters measured in cultured adult individuals. Sixteen Tunisian Artemia populations were examined. The study included reference samples of two Artemia franciscana (San Francisco Bay, California, USA; and Great Salt Lake, Utah, USA) populations. The variability among the diverse populations was studied by statistical treatment of data through the analysis of variance. This analysis did not unveil any particular similarity among the Artemia populations studied, apart from the width of the head of male specimens (F=1.088, P=0.360). Biometrical analysis of these data was performed via multivariate discriminant analysis, and using the origin of each population as a separation factor. Results revealed that all the Tunisian Artemia populations studied can be classified as Artemia salina, with the exception of the Artemia population from Sabkhet Halk El Menzel, which belongs to Artemia franciscana.
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Vol. 54 • No. 2