Morphometry and size at maturity are described for 196 specimens of Callinectes ornatus collected in Mullet Bay, Bermuda during summers of 1981 and 1987. Carapace width including and excluding lateral spines, body depth, and male abdomen width exhibited linear and isometric growth
relative to short carapace length (CSL), the independent variable. Female abdomen width and chelar propodal length, width, and depth were allometric. Prepubertal (near 20 mm CSL) and pubertal molts (near 30 mm CSL) of males were inferred from changes in allometry of chelar propodal dimensions.
The prepubertal molt of females (near 24 mm CSL) was revealed by an allometric change in abdominal width and cheliped dimensions. Allometric changes were correlated with morphological changes in the abdomen and pleopods and with gonadal development. Females attain puberty (near 45 mm CSL)
at terminal ecdysis as crabs metamorphose to the adult configuration. The species is heterochelic and heterodontic. The molariform claw occurred on the right side of 83.5% of all crabs (no significant difference between sexes). Cheliped laterality changes with age; frequency of “right-handedness”
decreases with increasing size (age). Highly significant differences occurred between molariform (right) and serratiform (left) chelipeds for all dimensions for both sexes.
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.