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LARVAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE SPIDER CRAB MITHRAX PLEURACANTHUS STIMPSON REARED IN THE LABORATORY (DECAPODA: BRACHYURA: MAJIDAE)

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ABSTRACT The complete larval development of the spider crab Mithrax (Mithrax) pleuracanthus from hatching to first crab stage was obtained by culture in the laboratory. A prezoea, two zoeal stages, and one megalopal stage are described and illustrated. Larvae were reared in 12 different combinations of temperature and salinity. Best survival to first crab stage occurred at 25°C and salinities of 30‰ and 35‰ and at cyclic temperatures of 30–35°C in 35‰ salinity. Development to first crab was 14 days (at 25°C) and 9-10 days (at 30°C, cyclic 30–-35°C). Morphological characters of M. pleuracanthus larvae were compared with those of two other members within the genus. The subgenera Mithraculus and Mithrax were originally based on only adult characters, but it is suggested that a reevaluation of these subgeneric diagnoses should be considered to include larval characters.

Affiliations: 1: Duke University Marine Laboratory, Beaufort, North Carolina 28516

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/content/journals/10.1163/1937240x81x00050
1981-01-01
2016-12-10

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