Insects and crustaceans represent critical, dominant animal groups (by biomass and species number) in terrestrial and aquatic systems, respectively. Insects (hexapods) and crustaceans are historically grouped under separate taxonomic classes within the Phylum Arthropoda, and the research communities studying hexapods and crustaceans are quite distinct. More recently, the hexapods have been shown to be evolutionarily derived from basal crustaceans, and the clade Pancrustacea recognizes this relationship. This recent evolutionary perspective, and the fact that the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology has strong communities in both invertebrate biology and insect physiology, provides the motivation for this symposium. Speakers in this symposium were selected because of their expertise in a particular field of insect or crustacean physiology, and paired in such a way as to provide a comparative view of the state of the current research in their respective fields. Presenters discussed what aspects of the physiological system are clearly conserved across insects and crustaceans and how cross-talk between researchers utilizing insects and crustaceans can fertilize understanding of such conserved systems. Speakers were also asked to identify strategies that would enable improved understanding of the evolution of physiological systems of the terrestrial insects from the aquatic crustaceans. The following collection of articles describes multiple recent advances in our understanding of Pancrustacean physiology.
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