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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The stages of gonadal development for the female of the spotted pink shrimp Penaeus brasiliensis from the Mexican Caribbean Sea are characterized, based on histological analyses. Five stages (immature, developing, almost mature, mature, and spawned) were determined, according to the structure and arrangement of the germ cells in the gonads. Each of these stages corresponds macroscopically to a characteristic color, except for stages I and V, in which the coloring is similar and can be distinguished only microscopically. A chromatic scale is provided to determine the stages of gonadal development, which ranges between a translucent aspect to an olive green color corresponding to the immature and mature stages. The size of the cells in each stage varied from an average of 0.028 mm for stage I to an average of 0.231 mm for stage IV. Growth of cells is faster in stages II and III and shows a greater overlapping of sizes in stages III and IV.


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