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Free Content Larval Development of the Speckled Swimming Crab, Arenaeus Cribrarius (Decapoda: Brachyura: Portunidae) Reared in the Laboratory

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Eight zoeal stages and a megalopa of the speckled swimming crab, Arenaeus cribrarius, are described and figured from larvae of an ovigerous specimen collected at Horn Island, Mississippi (Gulf of Mexico). Crab stages 1–3 are also briefly described. Larvae were reared at 25°C and 30‰ salinity; some individuals completed zoeal development in 30 days, and reached crab 1, 13 days later. Zoea I characters of A. cribrarius are compared with those of seven other species of shallow water Gulf Portuninae, from larvae reared by the authors, and from the literature. Antennal and telson features are important in distinguishing among zoeae I of Gulf Portuninae. Characters of zoeae II–VIII and the megalopa of A. cribrarius and those of corresponding stages of Callinecles sapidus, C. similis, and Portunus spinicarpus from the literature are compared. In zoeae III and VI, setation of maxillar basal and coxal endites is a distinguishing feature among A. cribrarius, C. sapidus, C. similis, and P. spinicarpus, and in zoea V, maxillular basal and coxal endite setation distinguish each. Antennular aesthetasc formula distinguishes each species having a zoea VIII, and in all zoeal stages this feature distinguishes A. cribrarius from the others. Zoeae IV and VII of C. sapidus, C. similis and P. spinicarpus can be separated by setation of maxillular basal and coxal endites, and in zoea II this same feature distinguishes P. spinicarpus from C. sapidus and C. similis. Zoeae II of C. sapidus and C. similis from Atlantic stocks can be separated by maxilliped 1 endopod setation, but zoeae II of these species from the Gulf are presently inseparable. The megalopa of A. cribrarius is larger (carapace width, length) than those ofthe other three species. Megalopae of all four species can be reliably separated by number of hooked setae on pereopod 5 dactylus. The spawning season of A. cribrarius in the Gulf of Mexico extends at least from mid-April to mid-October.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1988-01-01

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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