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Free Content The Larval Development of Dissodactylus Crinitichelis Moreira, 1901 (Brachyura: Pinnotheridae) in Laboratory Culture

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Dissodactylus crinitichelis has been reared through three zoeal stages and the megalopa, to the first crab instar. Ovigerous females incubated the eggs for 14–15 days at 28°C. Larvae were fed Artemia nauplii and selected plankton. Average duration of the zoeal stages was 3, 4 and 4 days respectively. Metamorphosis of the megalopa usually occurred in 7 days, the first crab instar was thus reached on the eighteenth day after hatching.

Before metamorphosis to the first crab can occur, megalopae of D. crinitichelis must feed on a host sand dollar (Mellita sexiesperforata). This is the first recorded instance of obligate parasitism during early development of a pinnotherid crab. In the absence of a suitable host, all megalopae died in about one week. Later crab stages are not entirely dependent upon their hosts and will continue growth and molting, in the laboratory, while free-living.

Detailed descriptions of all stages are given, with special attention to setal morphology and distribution. Setal types have been precisely identified, using light and scanning electron microscopy. Changes in type of individual setae, between successive instars, have been recorded. These changes are brought about in two ways: (i) reductions in size and setulation, possibly leading to loss of setae and (ii) transformation to a new type which remains prominent and functional. When properly identified by type, counts of setae were sufficiently consistent to provide a diagnostic tool which will be useful in species identification as well as instar determination.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 1981

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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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