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Population biology of Palaemon adspersus Rathke, 1837 (Decapoda, Caridea) in Fornells Bay, Balearic Islands, western Mediterranean

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Growth and reproductive cycle of the prawn, Palaemon adspersus were studied in Fornells Bay from April 2002 to March 2003. Samples caught using a lift net showed that abundance is markedly seasonal, with peaks in autumn and winter. P. adspersus showed distinct sexual dimorphism, the females being larger than the males. The K coefficient of the VBGF (Von Bertalanffy Growth Formula) was higher in the females (2.065 year−1 for females and 1.076 year−1 for males) and the same applies to L coefficient of the VBGF (47.8 mm in females and 34.14 mm in males). Ovigerous females were found from March to August. However, the low percentage of ovigerous females found in the study area suggests that reproduction and incubation do not occur at the study site. Also, as the ovary shows activity during the whole year cycle, it is not possible to distinguish a discrete reproductive period. El crecimiento y el ciclo reproductor de Palaemon adspersus fueron estudiados en la bahía de Fornells entre Abril de 2002 y Marzo de 2003. Las muestras obtenidas con una red por elevación indican una marcada variación estacional, con mayores abundancias en otoño e invierno. P. adspersus presenta dimorfismo sexual, siendo de mayor talla las hembras. Los parámetros de crecimiento calculados fueron superiores en hembras. El valor del coeficiente K de la VBGF (Fórmula de crecimiento de Von Bertalanffy fue 2.065 año−1 para las hembras y 1.076 año−1 para los machos. En el caso de L , fueron 47.8 mm en hembras y 34.14 mm en machos. Se han encontrado hembras ovígeras entre Marzo y Agosto. En cualquier caso, el bajo porcentaje de hembras ovígeras encontradas sugiere que la reproducción e incubación no se desarrollan en el área de estudio. Esto unido a que la actividad del ovario se mantiene durante todo el año no permite discernir un periodo reproductor claro.


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