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SIZE AT SEXUAL MATURITY AND FECUNDITY OF THE FJORD-DWELLING GOLDEN KING CRAB LITHODES AEQUISPINA BENEDICT FROM NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Size at maturity of fjord-dwelling golden king crabs, Lithodes aequispina, from northern British Columbia is 114 mm carapace length (CL) for males, based on chela allometry, and 105.5 mm CL for females, based on the presence of "eggs" (embryos) or empty egg cases on the pleopod setae. Females carried up to 27,000 "eggs." Fecundity (F), measured soon after egg extrusion, increases with carapace length according to: F = – 18,760 + 294 CL. Embryo mortality, from egg extrusion until the appearance of embryonic eyes, decreases from 13% for 110 mm CL females to 8% for 140 mm females. Mean length of external "eggs" immediately before hatching is 2.4 mm. Based on the size limit at maturity and estimates of growth rate, a minimum commercial size limit of 163 mm CL (=181 mm carapace width, including lateral spines) would protect males for three years after maturity is reached.

Affiliations: 1: (SCJ) North Pacific Research, 1308 Viewpointe Dr., Fairbanks, Alaska 99701;; 2: (NAS) Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Fisheries Research Branch, Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, British Columbia V9R 5K6, Canada;; 3: (DAS) Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center, National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, 7600 Sandpoint Way, N.E., Bin C15700, Seattle, Washington 98115.

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/content/journals/10.1163/1937240x85x00542
1985-01-01
2016-12-10

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