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Larval Development of the Land Hermit Crab Coenobita Compressus H. Milne Edwards Reared in the Laboratory

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Abstract The complete larval development of the land hermit crab Coenobita compressus is described from specimens reared in the laboratory at 26°C. Eighty-eight percent passed through five zoeal stages and 12% passed through four zoeal stages before metamorphosing 21–33 days after hatching. Megalopae left their water dishes as soon as seven days after metamorphosis, buried themselves in damp sand approximately 29 days after metamorphosis, and emerged as young crabs 1–5 days later. Coenobita compressus zoeae can be distinguished from the other seven described coenobitids by the setation of the maxillule and antenna, whereas the megalopa can be distinguished by the segmentation of the second and third maxillipeds. Characters are also given to distinguish C. compressus zoeae from those of sympatric marine hermit crab zoeae.

Affiliations: 1: a Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, 701 Seaway Drive, Fort Pierce, Florida 34949-7303, U.S.A. ( ; 2: b Department of Biology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Georgia 30460, U.S.A. (


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