Changes in the Size Structure, Sex Ratio and Molting Activity of a Population of Ornate Rock Lobsters, Panulirus Ornatus, Caused by an Annual Maturation Molt and Migration
Each spring, most 2-year-old (2+) Panulirus ornatus undergo a maturation molt and then migrate from the fishing grounds in Torres Strait, which changes the size structure, sex ratio and molting activity of the lobster population. These changes are reflected to varying degrees by changes in the catch of Torres Strait lobster fishermen. The migration begins between early August and early September each year, and departure is spread over 4 to 8 weeks. More females migrate than males; thus the sex ratio of the remaining population becomes biased toward males. The maturation molt occurs during one to three peaks in molting activity among lobsters about to migrate. These peaks coincide with a general lunar rhythm in the molting activity of the lobster population, with peak rates of ecdysis about I week after each full moon.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 January 1994
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