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Population structure and morphometric variation in the sand-bubbler crab Scopimera crabricauda (Brachyura: Dotillidae)

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In the present study, population ecology and relationships between various morphometric characters of the sand-bubbler crab Scopimera crabricauda from the Persian Gulf (Iran) were studied. Crabs were collected monthly by excavating nine quadrats in high-density areas of open burrows at low, mid and high intertidal levels during spring low tides for one year. A total of 534 crabs was collected, of which 70% were males (and 30% females). Mean carapace width and total weight in both sexes showed significant differences. Crabs with a carapace width ranging from 5 to 7 mm were the dominant crabs in the population. The highest numbers of crabs were found in the higher intertidal area. The mean size of crabs decreased towards the sea. The aggregation of small crabs was found towards sea in female crabs. Juveniles were abundantly found from January to March whereas the sub-adults and adults were mostly found from April to January. The carapace length to carapace width relationship differed between males and females, as did the carapace width and carapace length to total weight relationships. Finally, the relationship between carapace width and weight for both sexes showed that the growth of this species is allometric.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Marine Biology, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran ; 2: 2Fishery Department, University of Hormozgan, Bandar Abbas, Iran

*Corresponding author; e-mail:

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