Breeding biology and population structure of the intertidal crab Petrolisthes laevigatus (Anomura: Porcellanidae) in central-southern Chile

Marco Antonio Lardies, José Miguel Rojas, Ingo S. Wehrtmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

The present study describes the seasonal reproductive cycle and population structure of the porcellanid crab Petrolisthes laevigatus, a typical inhabitant of the rocky intertidal. A total of 960 individuals (including 372 females) was collected in monthly samples from October 1993 to December 1994 in central-southern Chile. Ovigerous females were present between August and December, and were absent between January and July. The breeding season started during late winter (August), and females with embryos close to hatching occurred between October and end of spring (December). Considering the gonadosomatic index and the duration of the incubation period, it is concluded that P. laevigatus has a markedly seasonal breeding period with probably two successive spawnings per female per season. Our results compared with previous studies in temperate intertidal porcellanids suggest a lower structural variability of the population during the sampling period, but a pronounced seasonal variation in both sex ratio and abundance. The influence of environmental habitat conditions (i.e. temperature) is suggested to be responsible for the lower variation in the crab population size structure in ovigerous females, and the almost constant size distribution observed in males.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-388
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Natural History
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 Feb 2004

Keywords

  • Gonadosomatic index
  • Intertidal
  • Porcellanidae
  • Reproductive cycle
  • Sex ratio

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