Descriptions of crustacean brains have focused mainly on three highly derived lineages of malacostracans: the reptantian infraorders represented by spiny lobsters, lobsters, and crayfish. Those descriptions advocate the view that dome- or cap-like neuropils, referred to as ‘hemiellipsoid bodies,’ are the ground pattern organization of centers that are comparable to insect mushroom bodies in processing olfactory information. Here we challenge the doctrine that hemiellipsoid bodies are a derived trait of crustaceans, whereas mushroom bodies are a derived trait of hexapods. We demonstrate that mushroom bodies typify lineages that arose before Reptantia and exist in Reptantia thereby indicating that the mushroom body, not the hemiellipsoid body, provides the ground pattern for both crustaceans and hexapods. We show that evolved variations of the mushroom body ground pattern are, in some lineages, defined by extreme diminution or loss and, in others, by the incorporation of mushroom body circuits into lobeless centers. Such transformations are ascribed to modifications of the columnar organization of mushroom body lobes that, as shown in Drosophila and other hexapods, contain networks essential for learning and memory.
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- mushroom bodies