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Effects of Sex Ratio on Egg Extrusion Frequency and Mating Behavior of the Spiny King Crab Paralithodes Brevipes (Decapoda: Lithodidae)

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Abstract The effects of sex ratio on the spawning frequency of females and on male mating behavior were examined in the spiny king crab, Paralithodes brevipes. Two types of guarding behavior were categorized based on when the male began guarding the female, that is, pre- and post-molting types, when the male starts guarding the female either before or after her molt, respectively. Males reared under a female-biased sex ratio more often showed the post-molting type than did males reared under an even ratio. Guarding duration for the pre-molting type, from the start of guarding to female molting, was significantly longer when the sex ratio was even than when females were more numerous (female : male ratio = 5:1). While there was no significant difference in the molting frequency of females between the two sex ratios, frequencies of egg extrusion were significantly lower for the female-biased ratio than for the even sex ratio. These results suggest that the sex ratio affects the mating behavior of P. brevipes and might be an important factor to manage wild populations and to produce seed crabs effectively in nursery tanks.

Affiliations: 1: b Japan Sea-Farming Association, Akkeshi Station, Tsukushikoi, Akkeshi 088-11, Japan ; 2: c Faculty of Fisheries, Hokkaido University, 3-1-1 Minato, Hakodate 041-8611, Japan


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