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INCIDENCE OF INSEMINATION IN FEMALE BLUE CRABS, CALLINECTES SAPIDUS

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Because the fishery for the blue crab Callinectes sapidus in South Carolina primarily targets males, it was hypothesized that intensive fishing of male crabs could affect the number of adult females that are inseminated. Adult female crabs were obtained monthly from coastal South Carolina and dissected to determine the condition of the ovary and seminal receptacle. Results indicated that 97% of the adult female blue crabs were inseminated. Seminal receptacles that contained no sperm or spermatophores were small and flaccid. This condition occurred at all four stages of ovarian development, but the greatest percentage (57%) of crabs with flaccid seminal receptacles had advanced-stage ovaries. A protracted annual breeding season and the ability to store sperm for at least two spawnings appear advantageous in maximizing reproductive output.

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/content/journals/10.1163/193724089x00601
1989-01-01
2016-12-04

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