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Abundance and distribution of scyllarid phyllosoma larvae (Decapoda: Scyllaridae) in the Balearic Sea (Western Mediterranean)

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The distribution, abundance, and interannual variation of scyllarid phyllosoma larvae were studied in waters of the Balearic Sea (Western Mediterranean) from plankton samples collected between 2001 and 2005. Over the study period, 342 phyllosomas were collected, all belonging to Scyllaridae. Scyllarus arctus (Linnaeus, 1758) was the most abundant (89%), with representation of all developmental stages (I-X), except stage IX, plus two nistos. Scyllarus pygmaeus (Bate, 1888) phyllosoma included middle stages (IV-VII) and two final stages X. Finally, a stage II phyllosoma of Scyllarides latus (Latreille, 1802) was recorded for the first time in the Western Mediterranean. The majority of the phyllosomas were early stage S. arctus found in near shore stations, while advanced stages were common farther away from the coast, especially to the south of the Balearic Sea. That was also the case of S. pygmaeus, most of which stage V, observed to the southwest of the archipelago. Phyllosomas were scarce in low salinity (S<37.2) water masses of recent Atlantic origin, and interannual differences in distribution reflected the intrusions of low salinity Atlantic water from the South.

Affiliations: 1: 1Centro Oceanográfico de Baleares – Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Muelle de Poniente s/n, 07015 Palma de Mallorca, Spain; 2: 2Departamento de Biología Animal, Universidad de Málaga, Campus de Teatinos s/n, 29071 Málaga, Spain; 3: 3Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System, Parc Bit, Naorte, Bloc A 2-3, 07121 Palma de Mallorca, Spain


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