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REPRODUCTIVE ECOLOGY OF FEMALE GOLDEN CRABS, GERYON FENNERI MANNING AND HOLTHUIS, FROM SOUTHEASTERN FLORIDA

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ABSTRACT Examination of deep-water female golden crabs collected monthly from the southeastern coast of Florida indicates an annual reproductive cycle with a single batch of eggs produced each year. Oviposition begins in late August and continues through October with eggs retained for approximately 6 months until hatching during late February and March. Sizes of ovigerous females examined ranged from 96 to 147 mm carapace width (CW). Extruded eggs averaged 540 μm in diameter, increasing to between 580 and 600 μm prior to hatching. Fecundity estimates range from 131,000 to 347,000 eggs with brood size highly correlated to CW. Changes in gonopore margins associated with molting and the onset of ovarian activity indicate that size at sexual maturity is between 85 and 100 mm CW. Although sampling depth ranges were limited, Geryon fenneri may display similar segregation by sex and size with depth as other species of Geryon.

10.1163/193724088X00260
/content/journals/10.1163/193724088x00260
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/content/journals/10.1163/193724088x00260
2017-07-24

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