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Body weight, morphometry, and diet of the mud crab, Rhithropanopeus harrisii tridentatus (Maitland, 1874) in the Odra estuary, Poland

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In Polish waters, the mud crab, Rhithropanopeus harrisii tridentatus (Maitland, 1874) has been so far reported as abundant from the Vistula estuary and from the Gulf of Gdánsk. In 2007, the crab's presence was recorded also in the Odra estuary, which made it possible to examine the basic traits of the species' biology and population characteristics. The crab's carapace width and length were found to vary in the range of, respectively, 7.69-22.80 mm (mean width: 17.01 ± 3.82 mm) and 6.31-19.97 mm (mean length: 13.94 ± 3.33 mm). The mean individual weight was 2.29 ± 1.07 g (range: 0.40-4.01 g), the most frequent weight range being 1.51-4.0 g. Comparisons of the biological traits examined showed, that the crabs inhabiting the Odra estuary were, on the average, heavier, and also had wider and longer carapaces than members of populations dwelling in other areas of Poland. The Odra estuary population was found to feed mainly on detritus, which accounted for 61.1% of the gut content; the animal food items, making up 12.9% of the gut content, contained remains of appendages of copepods and insects as well as fragments of the blue mussel (Mytilus edulis) and the zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha). Dans les eaux polonaises, le crabe de vase Rhithropanopeus harrisii tridentatus (Maitland, 1874) a été jusqu'à présent rapporté comme abondant dans l'estuaire de la Vistule et dans le golfe de Gdańnsk. En 2007, la présence de ce crabe était signalée aussi dans l'estuaire de l'Oder, ce qui a rendu possible l'examen des principaux traits de la biologie de l'espèce et des caractéristiques de sa population. La largeur et la longueur de la carapace de ce crabe variaient entre, respectivement, 7,69–22,80 mm (largeur moyenne: 17,01 ± 3,82 mm) et 6,31–19,97 mm (longueur moyenne: 13,94 ± 3,33 mm). Le poids moyen par individu était de 2,29 ± 1,07 g (variation: 0,40–4,01 g), l'échelle de poids la plus fréquente étant 1,51–4,0 g. Des comparaisons des traits biologiques examinés ont montré que les crabes habitant l'estuaire de l'Oder étaient, en moyenne, plus lourds, et avaient aussi des carapaces plus larges et plus longues que les membres des populations vivant dans d'autres régions de Pologne. La population de l'estuaire de l'Oder se nourrit principalement de détritus, ce qui représente 61,1% du contenu du tube digestif; la part de nourriture animale de ce contenu, soit 12,9% contenait des restes d'appendices de copépodes et d'insectes, ainsi que des fragments de moule commune (Mytilus edulis) et de moule zébrée (Dreissena polymorpha).

Affiliations: 1: Department of Fisheries Management in Open Waters, Agricultural University of Szczecin, Kazimierza Królewicza 4, PL-71-550 Szczecin, Poland; 2: Department of Fish Biology, Agricultural University of Szczecin, Kazimierza Królewicza 4, PL-71-550 Szczecin, Poland


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