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image of Crustaceana

The life history of the American lobster, Homarus americanus, has been studied in the Bideford River estuary, Malpeque Bay, on the northern shore of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Lobsters migrate into the bay in early summer and two distinct moultings take place in May-June and in September. Lobsters with missing claws moult in both seasons, while uninjured individuals mainly moult in May-June. Neither uninjured lobsters nor individuals with missing claws larger than 43 mm CL moult twice a year in the estuary. A high percentage (30-40%) of individuals has missing claws in summer and the percentage of animals with regenerated small claws increases towards October-November. After the regeneration of missing claws, lobsters appear to emigrate to deeper water outside the bay. The estuarine environment might be used as a moulting and regenerating area for injured animals in spring-fall. Conversely, this environment does not appear to sustain high reproductive activities, because a low prevalence of mature females is observed throughout the year in this environment. These findings reveal the diversity of habitats used by different stages and groups of lobsters, especially the importance of an estuarine environment for moulting of claw regenerating lobsters.

Le cycle de vie du homard americain, Homarus americanus, a ete etudie dans l'estuaire de la riviere Bideford, Baie de Malpeque, au nord de l'Ile du Prince Edouard, Canada. Les homards migrent vers la baie au debut de l'ete et deux mues distinctes ont lieu en mai-juin et en septembre. Les homards depourvus de pinces muent aux deux saisons, tandis que les individus intacts muent principalement en mai-juin. Aucun homard intact, comme aucun individu sans pinces, de taille superieure a 43 mm (CL) ne mue deux fois l'an dans l'estuaire. Un pourcentage eleve (30-40%) d'individus ont des pinces manquantes en ete et le pourcentage d'animaux avec des petites pinces regenerees a augmente vers octobre-novembre. Apres la regeneration des pinces, les homards semblent emigrer en eau plus profonde en dehors de la baie. L'environnement estuarien pourrait etre utilise comme une aire de mue et de regeneration pour les animaux blesses entre le printemps et l'automne. En revanche, cet environnement ne semble pas soutenir une activite elevee de reproduction en raison d'une faible prevalence de femelles a maturite tout au long de l'annee. Ces resultats revelent la diversite des habitats utilises par les differents stades et groupes de homards, en particulier l'importance de l'environnement estuarien pour la mue et la regeneration des pinces.


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