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A Preliminary Investigation Into The Potential Value Of Gastric Mills For Ageing Crustaceans

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Chapter Summary

Among the most universal effects of over-fishing is the depletion of large individuals within exploited populations, and spiny lobsters (Decapoda; Palinuridae) are no exception. Lost mating opportunities are not the only reproductive problem faced by female lobsters in fished regions. Decapods may also experience sperm limitation if ejaculate size scales with male body size, mating history, expected female output, or future mating opportunities. Indeed, in Panulirus. argus and Jasus. edwardsii, male size and spermatophore size are correlated, and spermatophore size explains nearly half of the variance in clutch size. To determine the impact of male size on sperm and spermatophore attributes, the author conducted mating experiments in the laboratory controlling for male and female size. The impetus for this study was a concern that a reduction in the size of male spiny lobsters in populations subject to fishing could adversely affect fertilization success, hence the realized fecundity of exploited populations.

Keywords:Caribbean spiny lobster; Jasus edwardsii; mating experiments; Panulirus Argus; reproduction; spermatophore characteristics



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