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LIFE CYCLE STUDIES ON THE INTRODUCED SPIDER CRAB PYROMAIA TUBERCULATA (LOCKINGTON) (BRACHYURA: MAJIDAE). I. EGG AND LARVAL STAGES

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The introduced spider crab Pyromaia tuberculata has recently colonized eutrophic bays in Japan. In Tokyo Bay, this crab annually recolonizes an area of the upper bay which is subjected to severe hypoxic and anoxic water and subsequent extinction of benthic animal populations every summer. This research was designed to clarify egg and larval growth characteristics of P. tuberculata, and to shed light on how this species is able to effectively colonize such eutrophic areas. Three sets of experiments, incubation time, egg growth, and larval development, were conducted. Incubation time decreased with rising temperature, ranging from 3 months at 8°C to 7 days at 26°C. Egg growth was classified in 4 stages by structure as noted from external observation, and eye spots appeared in the final stage (last quarter of the incubation period). The larvae passed through first and second zoeal and megalopal stages. The experimental results, combined with field observations, indicate that P. tuberculata is capable of breeding, incubating, hatching, and metamorphosing to first crab throughout the year in Tokyo Bay. These reproductive and larval growth characteristics allow this species to annually recolonize the upper areas of Tokyo Bay.

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/content/journals/10.1163/193724096x00298
1996-01-01
2016-12-10

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