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The Megalopa and Juvenile Development of Pachygrapsus Transversus (Gibbes, 1850) (Decapoda, Brachyura) Compared With Other Grapsid Crabs

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Megalopae were reared in the laboratory to the 7th crab stage. The megalopa and 1st crab stage are described and juvenile development was studied with emphasis on pleopodal differentiation. The megalopal phase, is easily identified, and shares with those of other Grapsinae and Plagusiinae big size, the presence of many natatory setae, and a series of conspicuous teeth on the inner margin of the dactyli from the 2nd to 4th walking leg. These features are regarded as adaptive for settlement in a wave-swept environment, such as the rocky marine intertidal where most of those species live. Fast development of juvenile pleopods is another characteristic of these subfamilies. In Pachygrapsus transversus, the sexes can be distinguished from the 2nd crab stage. Gonopod differentiation in males and the basic segmentation of all four pleopod pairs in females are already concluded at the 5th instar. A review of the available information indicated that settlement of large megalopae and fast juvenile development, preceding a precocious sexual maturity, are trends in Grapsinae and Plagusiinae. On the other hand, the Sesarminae pass through a more extensive juvenile instar sequence and presumably a delayed maturity.

Affiliations: 1: NEBECC (Group of Studies on Crustacean Biology, Ecology and Culture) Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências and Centro de Aquicultura, Universidade Estadual Paulista UNESP, C.P. 510, 18618-000 Botucatu (SP), Brazil; 2: NEBECC (Group of Studies on Crustacean Biology, Ecology and Culture) Departamento de Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências and Centro de Aquicultura, Universidade Estadual Paulista UNESP, C.P. 510, 18618-000 Botucatu (SP), Brazil

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/content/journals/10.1163/156854098x00176
1998-01-01
2017-09-21

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