We evaluated the abundance and distribution of Panulirus spp. phyllosomas collected during two oceanographic cruises in March 2006 and January 2007 along the Mexican Caribbean coast. In total, 1138 phyllosomas were collected in 2006, and 492 were collected in 2007, comprising
three families: Palinuridae; Scyllaridae; and Sinaxidae. The most abundant species of Panulirus for both cruises was Panulirus argus (Latreille, 1804). DNA barcoding methods also confirmed the identity of the phyllosomal stages of Panulirus guttatus (Latreille, 1804).
The most abundant phyllosomal stages of P. argus in both years were early (I–III) and mid stages (IV–VIII) mostly found near Banco Chinchorro. The least abundant late stages (IX–X) were widely dispersed offshore. During both cruises, >70% of phyllosomal abundance
was concentrated in the surface layers (0–50 m). Statistical models indicated that depth, along with year, geographical area, and time of day, were important for early- and mid-stage phyllosoma stages. The distribution and densities of phyllosomas off Quintana Roo differed among years
and areas, likely due to varying environmental conditions and mediated by physical processes and the seasonality of reproductive activity of the local and regional spawning stock. In addition, early-stage phyllosomas appeared to avoid surface waters during periods of increased moonlight.
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Document Type: Research Article
April 1, 2016
This article was made available online on April 15, 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Distribution and abundance of <i>Panulirus</i> spp. phyllosomas off the Mexican Caribbean coast".
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