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Species composition, reproduction, and body size of mud crabs, Scylla spp., caught in Urado Bay, Japan

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Species composition, reproduction and body size of mud crabs, genus Scylla de Haan, 1833, were investigated using gill nets from October 2008 to October 2009 in Urado Bay, Japan. Three mud crab species were identified in the area, with S. paramamosain Estampador, 1949 being the dominant species (74% of the catch), followed by S. serrata (Forskål, 1775) (23%) and S. olivacea (Herbst, 1796) (3%). We found temporal changes in species composition with abundances of S. serrata increasing towards the summer season. Ovigerous females of S. paramamosain and S. olivacea occur between January and October, peaking in the warm (May-July) and rainy (June-July) seasons, but we found no berried females of S. serrata. The female-biased sex ratios of S. paramamosain and S. serrata, and the larger body size of females during the period from autumn (November) to early spring (April), suggest that large gravid females may have migrated offshore before the spawning season. The mean body size of females and males of S. paramamosain and S. serrata tended to increase and the mating activity was high between May and October, showing the moulting and growth season.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Marine Biosciences, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Konan, Minato, Tokyo 108-8477, Japan; 2: 2Tamano Laboratory, National Research Institute of Fisheries and Environment of Inland Sea, Fisheries Research Agency, Tamano, Okayama 706-0002, Japan


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