Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

A molecular dissection of the mating system of the Dungeness crab, Metacarcinus magister (Brachyura: Cancridae)

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

This Article is currently unavailable for purchase.
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

Microsatellites were used to determine paternity of Metacarcinus magister (Dana 1852), the Dungeness crab, embryos produced through controlled laboratory matings. Additionally, spermathecal and bursal sperm from mated females were genotyped to elucidate patterns of sperm storage and use. Spermathecal and bursal contents and egg clutches from female M. magister of unknown mating history were similarly analyzed. Genotyping of embryos revealed that bursal sperm are not used in fertilization. Multiple paternity was discovered in clutches from controlled matings and in 40% of clutches carried by crabs of unknown mating history. Males achieve last male sperm precedence through stratification of ejaculates within the spermatheca, but males may actually reduce their reproductive success by depositing too much sperm in the spermatheca. Stratification occasionally fails if the fresh ejaculate is large in volume, or when large volumes of stored sperm are present in the spermatheca, resulting in displacement of stored sperm towards the oviduct and multiple paternity within clutches. Sperm competition is interannual between the single primary male mate at each molt (adult females molt and mate once a year and sperm is retained across molts), and clutches fertilized with sperm as old as 2.5 years can develop to maturity. Female crabs may copulate for reasons other than to gain sperm for fertilization. Despite possessing internal sperm storage organs where oöcytes first encounter sperm, the act of fertilization in M. magister may occur externally.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Adams E. M. , Jones A. G. , Arnold S. J. . 2005. "Multiple paternity in a natural population of a salamander with long-term sperm storage". Molecular Ecology Vol 14: 1803- 1810.
2. Applied Biosystems, Inc. 1996. Genotyper 2.0 User’s Manual. Perkin-Elmer Corp., Foster City.
3. Beninger P. G. , Elner R. W. , Foyle T. P. , Odense P. H. . 1988. "Functional anatomy of the male reproductive system and the female spermatheca in the snow crab Chionoecetes opilio(O. Fabricius) (Decapoda: Majidae) and a hypothesis for fertilization". Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 8: 322- 332.
4. Birkhead T. 2000. Promiscuity: An Evolutionary History of Sperm Competition. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
5. Birkhead T. , Moller A. P. . 1998. Sperm Competition and Sexual Selection. Academic Press, San Diego.
6. Boomsma J. J. , Sundstrom L. . 1998. "Patterns of paternity skew in Formicaants". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Vol 42: 85- 92.
7. Burfitt A. H. 1980. "Glucose phosphate isomerase inheritance in Cancer pagurusL. broods as evidence of multiple paternity (Decapoda, Brachyura)". Crustaceana Vol 39: 306- 310.
8. Butler T. H. 1960. "Maturity and breeding of the Pacific edible crab, Cancer magisterDana". Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada Vol 17: 641- 646.
9. Christy J. H. 1987. "Competitive mating, mate choice and mating associations of brachyuran crabs". Bulletin of Marine Science Vol 41( 2: Second International Symposium on Indo Pacific Marine Biology) 177- 191.
10. Cooper G. , Miller P. L. , Holland P. W. H. . 1996. "Molecular genetic analysis of sperm competition in the damselfly Ischnura elegans ". Proceedings: Biological Sciences Vol 263: 1343- 1349.
11. Crane J. 1941. "Eastern Pacific Expedition of the New York Zoological Society. XXVI. Crabs of the genus Ucafrom the west coast of Central America". Zoologica: 145- 208.
12. Dana J. D. 1852. "Conspectus Crustaceorum, &c. Conspectus of the Crustacea of the Exploring Expedition under Capt. Wilkes, U.S.N., including the Crustacea Cancroidea Corystoidea". Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia Vol 6: 73- 86.
13. De Haan H. M. 1835. "Crustacea". In, von Siebold P. F. (ed.), Fauna Japonica sive Descriptio Animalium, Quae in Itinere per Japoniam, Jussu et Auspiciis Superiorum, qui Summum in India Batava Imperium Tenent, Suscepto, Annis 1823-1830 Collegit, Notis, Observationibus et Adumbrationibus Illustravit[ published 1833-1850]. Lugundi-Batavorum, Leiden. i-xvii, i-xxxi, ix-xvi, 1- 234pp.
14. Diesel R. 1989. "Structure and function of the reproductive system of the symbiotic spider crab Inachus phalangium(Decapoda, Majidae): observations on sperm transfer, sperm storage, and spawning". Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 9: 266- 277.
15. Diesel R. . 1990. "Sperm competition and reproductive success in the decapod Inachus phalangium(Majidae): a male ghost spider crab that seals off rivals’ sperm". Journal of Zoology (London) Vol 220: 213- 223.
16. Diesel R. . 1991. "Sperm competition and the evolution of mating behavior in Brachyura, with special reference to spider crabs (Decapoda, Majidae)", pp.  145- 163. In, Bauer R. T. , Martin J. W. (eds.), Crustacean Sexual Biology. Columbia University Press, New York.
17. Fabricius J. C. 1775. Systema entomologiae, sistens insectorvm classes, ordines, genera, species, adiectis synonymis, locis, descriptionibvs, observationibvs: pp. [1-31], 1- 832. Flensbvrgi, Lipsiae. ( Kort).
18. Fabricius O. 1788. "Beskrivelse over den store Gronlandske krabbe". Nye Samling af det Kongelige Danske Videnskabers Selskabs Skrivter, Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab Vol 3: 181- 190.
19. Gosselin T. , Sainte-Marie B. , Bernatchez L. . 2005. "Geographic variation of multiple paternity in the American lobster, Homarus americanus ". Molecular Ecology Vol 14: 1517- 1525.
20. Hagen H. A. 1870. "Monograph of the North American Astacidae". Illustrated catalogue of the Museum of Comparative Zoölogy, at Harvard College Vol 3: 1- 109.
21. Hankin D. G. , Diamond N. , Mohr M. S. , Ianelli J. . 1989. "Growth and reproductive dynamics of adult female Dungeness crabs ( Cancer magister) in northern California". Journal du Conseil et International Exploration de la Mer Vol 46: 94- 108.
22. Hartnoll R. G. 1969. "Mating in the Brachyura". Crustaceana Vol 16: 161- 181.
23. Jensen P. C. , Bentzen P. . 2004. "Isolation and inheritance of microsatellite loci in the Dungeness crab (Brachyura: Cancridae: Cancer magister)". Genome Vol 47: 325- 331.
24. Jensen P. C. , Orensanz J. M. , Armstrong D. A. . 1996. "Structure of the female reproductive tract in the Dungeness crab ( Cancer magister) and implications for the mating system". Biological Bulletin Vol 190: 336- 349.
25. Koga T. , Henmi Y. , Murai M. . 1993. "Sperm competition and the assurance of underground copulation in the sand-bubbler crab Scopimera globosa(Brachyura: Ocypodidae)". Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 13: 134- 137.
26. Linnaeus C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, Secundum Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentiis, Synonymis, Locis (edit. 10). Vol Vol. 1. Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae [Stockholm].
27. Marshall T. C. , Slate J. , Kruuk L. E. B. , Pemberton J. M. . 1998. "Statistical confidence for likelihood-based paternity inferences in natural populations". Molecular Ecology Vol 7: 639- 656.
28. McClung C. E. 1937. Handbook of Microscopical Technique for Workers in Animal and Plant Tissues. 2nd Edition. P. B. Hoeber, Inc., New York.
29. McKeown N. J. , Shaw P. W. . 2008. "Single paternity within broods of the brown crab Cancer pagurus: a highly fecund species with long-term sperm storage". Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 368: 209- 215.
30. Milne Edwards H. 1837. Histoire naturelle des Crustacés, comprenant l’anatomie, la physiologie et la classifi cation de ces animaux. Vol Vol. 2: 1- 532. Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, Paris.
31. O’Reilly P. T. , Herbinger C. , Wright J. M. . 1998. "Analysis of parentage determination in Atlantic salmon using microsatellites". Animal Genetics Vol 29: 363- 370.
32. Oh S. J. , Hankin D. G. . 2004. "The sperm plug is a reliable indicator of mating success in female Dungeness crabs, Cancer magister ". Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 24: 314- 326.
33. Orensanz J. M. , Gallucci V. F. . 1988. "Comparative study of postlarval life-history schedules in four sympatric species of Cancer(Decapoda: Brachyura: Cancridae)". Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 8: 187- 220.
34. Orensanz J. M. , Parma A. , Armstrong D. A. , Armstrong J. , Wardrup P. . 1995. "The breeding ecology of Cancer gracilis(Crustacea: Decapoda: Cancridae) and the mating system of cancrid crabs". Journal of Zoology (London) Vol 235: 411- 437.
35. Parker G. A. 1970. "Sperm competition and its evoultionary consequences in the insects". Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society Vol 45: 525- 567.
36. Randall J. W. 1840. "Catalogue of the Crustacea brought by Thomas Nuttall and J. K. Townsend, from the west coast of North America and the Sandwich Islands, with descriptions of such species as are apparently new, among which are included several species of different localities, previously existing in the collection of the Academy". Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia Vol 8: 106- 147.
37. Roy N. 2003. Variabilite naturelle de la frequence et de l’intensite de la polyandrie ainsi que de l’effort de reproduction male chez le crabe des neiges Chionoecetes opilio(Brachyura, Majidae). M.Sc. Thesis, Univ. Quebec a Rimouski, Rimouski, Quebec, 58 pp.
38. Ryan E. P. 1967. "Structure and function of the reproductive system of the crab, Portunus sanguinolentus(Herbst) (Brachyura: Portunidae). II. The female system", pp.  522- 544. In, Proceedings of the Symposium on Crustacea, Marine Biological Association of India, Pt II, Ernakulam, India.
39. Sainte-Marie B. , Sévigny J.-M. , Carpentier M. . 2002. "Interannual variability of sperm reserves and fecundity of primiparous females of the snow crab ( Chionoecetes opilio) in relation to sex ratio". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Vol 59: 1932- 1940.
40. Sainte-Marie B. , Gosselin T. , Sévigny J.-M. , Urbani N. . 2008. "The snow crab mating system: opportunity for natural and unnatural selection in a changing environment". Bulletin of Marine Science Vol 83: 131- 161.
41. Sainte-Marie B. , Urbani N. , Sévigny J.-M. , Hazel F. , Kuhnlein U. . 1999. "Multiple choice criteria and the dynamics of assortative mating during the first breeding season of female snow crab Chionoecetes opilio(Brachyura, Majidae)". Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 181: 141- 153.
42. Sainte-Marie G. , Sainte-Marie B. . 1998. "Morphology of the spermatheca, oviduct, intermediate chamber, and vagina of the adult snow crab ( Chionoecetes opilio)". Canadian Journal of Zoology Vol 76: 1589- 1604.
43. Sainte-Marie G. , Sainte-Marie B. , Sévigny J.-M. . 2000. "Ejaculate-storage patterns and the site of fertilization in female snow crabs Chionoecetes opilio(Brachyura: Majidae)". Canadian Journal of Zoology Vol 78: 1902- 1917.
44. Salmon M. 1983. "Courtship, mating systems and sexual selection in decapods", pp.  143- 169. In, Rebach S. , Dunham D. W. (eds.), Studies in Adaptation: The Behavior of Higher Crustacea. Wiley, New York.
45. Shirley T. C. , McNutt L. . 1989. "Precocious mating and trans-molt sperm retention by female Dungeness crabs". American Zoologist Vol 29: 131A.
46. Simmons L. W. 2001. Sperm Competition and Its Evolutionary Consequences in the Insects. Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford.
47. Streiff R. , Mira S. , Castro M. , Cancela M. L. . 2004. "Multiple paternity in Norway lobster ( Nephrops norvegicusL.) assessed with microsatellite markers". Marine Biotechnology Vol 6: 60- 66.
48. Swiney K. M. , Shirley T. C. , Taggart S. J. , O’Clair C. E. . 2003. "Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, do not extrude eggs annually in southeastern Alaska: an in situ study". Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 23: 280- 288.
49. Toonen R. J. 2004. "Genetic evidence of multiple paternity of broods in the intertidal crab Petrolisthes cinctipes ". Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 270: 259- 263.
50. Urbani N. , Sainte-Marie B. , Sévigny J.-M. , Zadworny D. , Kuhnlein U. . 1998. "Sperm competition and paternity assurance during the first breeding period of female snow crab ( Chionocetes opilio) (Brachyura: Majidae)". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Vol 55: 1104- 1113.
51. Walker D. , Porter B. A. , Avise J. C. . 2002. "Genetic parentage assessment in the crayfish Orconectes placidus, a high-fecundity invertebrate with extended maternal brood care". Molecular Ecology Vol 11: 2115- 2122.
52. Wild P. W. 1983. "The influence of sea water temperature on spawning, egg development, and hatching success of the Dungeness crab, Cancer magister ", pp.  197- 214. In, Wild P. W. , Tasto R. N. (eds.), Life History, Environment, and Mariculture Studies of the Dungeness Crab, Cancer magister, with Emphasis on the Central California Fishery Resource. California Department of Fish and Game, Sacramento.

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation