Fecundity and sexual maturity of the crab Macrophthalmus depressus (Brachyura: Ocypodidae) from Inhaca Island, Mozambique

  • Carlos Litulo Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Caixa Postal 257, Maputo, Mozambique
  • Adriano Macia Departamento de Ciências Biológicas, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Caixa Postal 257, Maputo, Mozambique
  • Fernando LM Mantelatto Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP), Universidade de São Paulo (USP), Av. Bandeirantes, 3900, CEP 14040-901, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Fernando LM Mantelatto Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeir&#227o Preto (FFCLRP), Universidade de S&#227o Paulo (USP), Av. Bandeirantes, 3900, CEP 14040-901, Ribeir&#227o Preto, S&#227o Paulo, Brazil
Keywords: <i>Macrophthalmus depressus</i>, egg production, morphological maturity, reproduction, Africa

Abstract

Some reproductive aspects of the ocypodid crab Macrophthalmus depressus, were investigated, with emphasis on fecundity and sexual maturity. Random intertidal crab samples taken in October 2002 were identified, sexed, measured, checked for the presence of eggs on female pleopods, dissected for gonad analysis and their egg numbers were determined. Fecundity averaged 1249.86 ± 991.96 eggs, ranging from 100 to 5000 eggs, increasing in accordance with female size. A very low variation in number of eggs was observed within the same size class, probably indicating synchronous spawning within the same reproductive season. Gonad analysis suggested that females and males become mature at carapace widths of 13.4 and 13.6mm, respectively. The potential effects of variations in fecundity in this species, and in the Ocypodidae family, were compared and discussed.

Keywords: Macrophthalmus depressus, egg production, morphological maturity, reproduction, Africa

African Journal of Aquatic Science 2005, 30(2): 179–183
Published
2006-01-04
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1727-9364
print ISSN: 1608-5914