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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to determine egg production by Culcinus tibicen, as well as the influence of shell type on fecundity using morphometric relationships. Ovigerous females were collected at 2-month intervals for 2 consecutive years (from January 1993 to November 1994) along the rocky shore of Ubatuba. The number of eggs carried by individuals of several sizes (shield length), condition of development, and egg size were determined. A total of 89 specimens were analyzed. Individual fecundity ranged from 193 (SL = 5.12 mm) to 6,785 eggs (SL = 4.25 mm) and mean fecundity was 1,719.25 ± 1,199.43 eggs. The lowest mean fecundity values were observed during the spring. The number of eggs produced per female was large and varied widely among size classes. This fact may probably be attributed to multiple or fragmented spawnings and primiparous or multiparous females during the reproductive cycle. Shells of 5 gastropod species were occupied by ovigerous females of C. tibicen. Stramonita haemastoma was the most occupied shell, although Tegula viridula presented the best associations, calculated by regression analysis between the dimensions of the shell and of ovigerous females and fecundity. This shows that shell type can influence the reproductive potential of ovigerous females, but not to the point of interrupting it.


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