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Molting and Breeding Cycles of the Rock-Dwelling Ocypodid Crab Macrophthalmus Roteltobagoe (Sakai, 1939) (Decapoda, Brachyura)

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Temporal relationships between molting and breeding cycles of the rock-dwelling ocypodid crab, Macrophthalmus boteltobagoe, were studied at Horikawa reef flat, Okinawa Island, southern Japan. Daily sampling of exuviae and female crabs were carried out to investigate molting and breeding cycles in the wild. Female crabs were reared in the laboratory to study the temporal combination between molting and breeding events. Most females of the field population were found to oviposite around the new moon, to hatch larvae on the day immediately prior to the following full moon, and to molt a few days after larval release. In captivity, however, consecutive brooding without intervenient molting was also observed. In mature-sized males, two peaks of molting occurred per month, in contrast with the females which showed only one peak of molting per month.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, College of Science, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara, Okinawa 903-01, Japan

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