Distribution and Reproduction of Nematocarcinid Shrimp (Decapoda: Caridea) from the Northwestern North Atlantic
Abstract:The deep-water carideans Nematocarcinus ensifer (Smith) and N. rotundus Crosnier and Forest were the most abundant species of nematocarcinid shrimp caught in Norfolk Canyon and the adjacent continental slope off eastern U.S.A. Nematocarcinus ensifer was caught between 1,430 and 3,083 m with greatest abundance at depths >1,800 m, while N. rotundus was found shallower (1,040 to 1,765 m) mostly between 1,400 and 1,500 m. Nematocarcinus cursor A. Milne Edwards, which was captured infrequently, is more abundant in the southwestern North Atlantic. Females of all three species were more numerous and larger than males. Larger individuals of N. ensifer were found at greater depths. No relation of size with depth was evident for N. rotundus.
Ovigerous N. ensifer and N. rotundus were found during most months of sampling. A peak in reproductive activity of N. ensifer may occur in spring and summer. Eggs of N. ensifer numbered approximately 2,400 to 15,500 per female, while N. cursor had approximately 9,000–14,000 eggs. Females and males were sexually mature at carapace lengths >20 mm.
Stomach contents indicate that benthic organisms are most important in the diet and that the shrimps are generalized, opportunistic feeders.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1979-07-01
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