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Larval development and emigration behaviour during sea-to-land transition of the land hermit crab Coenobita brevimanus Dana, 1852 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura: Coenobitidae) under laboratory conditions

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To determine the early life history of the land hermit crab Coenobita brevimanus Dana, 1852, larvae were cultured individually in the laboratory. The zoeal and the megalopal stages are described and illustrated. The larvae developed through four planktonic zoeal stages to the megalopal stage. The major differences in the zoeal characters between C. brevimanus and other described Coenobita species were found in the armature of the pleomeres, whereas the character of pleomeres of C. brevimanus zoeae is the same as that of the coconut crab Birgus latro, a different genus in the same family. Morphological similarity was also found in segmentations of antennules and antennae in megalopae between C. brevimanus and the coconut crab. Megalopae of C. brevimanus were cultured in containers holding seawater and a hard substrate. These crabs migrate from the sea to land after developing a habit of acquiring gastropod shells.
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Keywords: behaviour; land hermit crab; megalopa; morphology; zoea

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Marine Biosciences, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Konan, Minato, Tokyo, Japan 2: Tamano Laboratory, National Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland Sea, Fisheries Research Agency, Chikko, Tamano, Okayama, Japan

Publication date: May 11, 2014

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