Keys and bibliography for the identification of zoeal stages of brachyuran crabs from the Western Indian Ocean

  • Marta Bento University of Lisbon
  • José Paula University of Lisbon
Keywords: Crustacea, Brachyura, larvae, morphology, key, first stage zoeas


Approximately 430 brachyuran species have been identified as inhabiting the Western Indian Ocean (WIO), of which only 125 species have full or partial larval descriptions available. These descriptions were analysed and zoeal characters compared, in order to assess diagnostic characters for their identification. An identification key is provided for family level and identification keys to species level are provided for most families. These keys were constructed using external morphological characters whenever possible, to decrease the need for dissection and make identification as easy as possible. Only the first zoeal stage was considered, as many descriptions only consider this stage. 


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0856-860X
print ISSN: 0856-860X