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Life history of the crab, Macrophthalmus boscii (Audouin, 1826) (Decapoda, Brachyura, Ocypodidae)

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The life history of the ocypodid crab, Macrophthalmus boscii from Inhaca Island, southern Mozambique was investigated with emphasis on size structure, sex ratio, breeding season, juvenile recruitment, and fecundity. The overall size distribution was unimodal and slightly skewed to the left for both males and females. Males were larger than females, suggesting sexual dimorphism. The overall sex ratio was female-biased and differed significantly from 1 : 1. Breeding took place year-round with peaks in January and September and an accentuated decrease in winter (April-July). Similarly, juveniles were recorded year-round. The number of eggs ranged from 500 (CW = 4.0 mm) to 6000 (CW = 8.0 mm), with an average of 2081 ± 177 eggs and increased with female size. Results suggest that temperature is the main factor governing the breeding activity of M. boscii in the study area. A história de vida do Caranguejo ocypodídeo, Macrophthalmus boscii da Ilha da Inhaca, sul de Moçambique, foi investigada com especial ênfase na estrutura populacional, razão sexual, periodo reprodutivo, recrutamento juvenil, e fecundidade. A distribuição total de frequências foi unimodal e ligeiramente deslocada à esquerda tanto para os machos assim como para as fêmeas. Os machos alcançaram maiores tamanhos, sugerindo dimorfismo sexual. A razão sexual total esteve à favor das fêmeas e diferiu significativamente de 1 : 1. A reprodução foi continua com picos de desova em Janeiro e Setembro e um declínio acentuado no inverno (Abril-Junho). Igualmente, o recrutamento juvenil foi continuo durante o periodo de estudo. O número de ovos variou de 500 (LC = 4.0 mm) à 6000 (LC = 8.0 mm), com uma media de 2081 ± 177 ovos e aumentou com o aumento do tamanho das fêmeas. Os resultados sugerem que a temperatura é o principal factor que governa a actividade reprodutiva de M. boscii na área de estudo.

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