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Free Content Larval Development of the Hermit Crab, Paguristes Spinipes Milne-Edwards, 1880 (Decapoda, Diogenidae) Reared in the Laboratory

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Though there are well over 100 species in the genus Paguristes, and though larvae of only five have been described previously, there is evidence of widespread abbreviated development in the genus. In contrast to many of its 40 West Indian congeners, P. spinipes is distributed widely geographically and more deeply vertically (80 to 500 m). To determine the pattern of early development of this species and to attempt further evaluation of specific and generic larval characters within the genus, larvae obtained from females captured off Yucatan were reared in the laboratory, and the stages described.

There are normally three, rarely four, zoeal stages prior to the glaucothoe in P. spinipes. At 20°C duration to first crab was at least 6 weeks, far in excess of planktonic duration known for any of the few other species for which data are available.

A comparison of zoeal stages of P. spinipes with others described shows more characters shared with P. sericeus, a West Indian species, than with any of those from other areas. Larvae of P. spinipes are distinguishable from those of P. sericeus, but because of the large number of undescribed larvae of the genus occurring in the region, identifications from planktonic material cannot be made with certainty.

Occurrence of antero-lateral carapace spines and postero-lateral spines on the fifth abdominal somite in P. spinipes zoeae is consistent with a previous suggestion that these might be generic characters.

The few described glaucothoe stages of Paguristes do not show any features of certain generic importance, and the glaucothoe of P. spinipes probably cannot be distinguished from that of P. sericeus.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1978-07-01

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