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MORPHOMETRIC ANALYSIS AND REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY OF THE CRAB CHARYBDIS AFFINIS (DECAPODA, BRACHYURA, PORTUNIDAE) FROM THE ZHUJIANG ESTUARY, CHINA

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Morphometric characters and organ indices were analyzed in Charybdis affinis collected at different seasons from the Zhujiang estuary, China. The crab is heterochelous, with pronounced right handedness in both sexes. There is a marked sexual difference in relative growth of the cheliped. The female abdomen increases in size at puberty, which is also accompanied by a reduced allometric growth rate. Analysis of gonad development gave the estimate of 50% gonadal maturity at 42 and 36 mm carapace width for females and males, respectively. The hepatosomatic index of female crabs is inversely related to the gonadosomatic index indicating the role of the hepatopancreas in storage of nutrients necessary for ovarian development in the reproductive season.

Les caracteres morphologiques et les indices relatifs aux organes ont ete analyses chez Charybdis affinis, recolte a differentes saisons dans l'estuaire du Zhujiang, Chine. Le crabe presente une heterochelie, la pince droite etant tres developpee dans les deux sexes. Il existe une difference sexuelle marquee dans la croissance relative du chelipede. L'abdomen femelle s'accroot en taille a la puberte, ce qui s'accompagne aussi d'un taux de croissance allometrique reduit. L'analyse du developpement des gonades a donne une maturite estimee a 50% pour des femelles et males, respectivement, ayant une largeur de la carapace de 42 et 36 mm. L'indice hepatosomatique des crabes femelles est inversement proportionnel a l'indice gonadosomatique ce qui indique le role de l'hepatopancreas dans le stockage des nutriments necessaire au developpement ovarien lors de la reproduction.

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