Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Ontogenetic Variations in Cuticle Morphology in the Blue Crab Callinectes Sapidus Rathbun, 1896

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

Abstract In an effort to use aspects of the cuticle as taxonomic characters in phylogenies of fossil and extant decapods, variation due to gender, growth, sample location on the carapace, and molt cycle must be understood so that taxonomically important characters can be identified. In this study, effects of sample location on the carapace and carapace size were examined. A series of male Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896, specimens from 2-6 cm in length were collected on the Rhode River of the Chesapeake Bay, MD, USA. To study the effects of sample location and carapace size on parameters of the cuticle, the cuticle was examined in thin section and on the surface of the dorsal carapace. The distributional density of setal pits and nodes and node size were measured on the surface. In thin section, thickness of the cuticle and construction of the nodes and setal pits was examined. Thickness of the cuticle, node size, and setal pit density increased during growth of the crab. Node density decreased with growth. Construction of nodes and setal pits remained constant in all specimens and sample locations. Morphometric parameters of the cuticle were consistent with previously reported growth rates of the carapace in C. sapidus. Differences in the rate of change for the cuticle metrics studied occurred at carapace sizes that are attained upon reaching sexual maturity. Growth rates of cuticular features provide context for comparison with similar data in other species. In addition, the change in growth rates of these features, if recognized in fossil crab populations, may allow the determination of population age structures and size at maturity.

Affiliations: 1: a (DAW, RMF, JLB, ALH, KH) Department of Geology, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242, U.S.A. (Corresponding Author (DAW): ( ; 2: b (CES) Department of Geology, Kent State University Stark Campus, 6000 Frank Ave. NW, North Canton, Ohio 44720, U.S.A


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Amato C. , Waugh D. A. , Feldmann R. M. , Schweitzer C. E. 2008 "Effect of calcification patterns on cuticle density in decapods: a key to lifestyle." Journal of Custacean Biology Vol 28 587 595
2. Benedict J. E. 1902 "Description of a new genus and forty-six new species of crustaceans of the family Galatheidae, with a list of the known marine species." Proceedings of the United States National Museum Vol 26 243 334
3. Briggs D. E. G. , Stankiewicz B. A. , Meischner D. , Bierstedt A. , Evershed R. P. 1998 "Taphonomy of arthropod cuticles from Pliocene lake sediments, Willershausen, Germany." Palaios Vol 13 386 394
4. Cheng J. H. , Chang E. S. 1991 "Ecdysteroid treatment delays ecdysis in the lobster, Homarus americanus." Biological Bulletin Vol 181 169 174
5. Churchill E. P. Jr. 1919 "Life history of the blue crab." Bulletin of the Bureau of Fisheries Vol 36 95 128
6. Coblentz F. E. , Shafer T. H. , Roer R. D. 1998 "Cuticular proteins from the blue crab alter in vitro calcium carbonate mineralization." Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology - Part B: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Vol 121 349 360
7. Compre P. , Thorez A. , Goffinet G. 1998 "Fine structural survey of old cuticle degradation during pre-ecdysis in two European Atlantic crabs." Tissue and Cell Vol 30 41 56
8. Dana J. D. 1851 "Conspectus Crustaceorum quae in Orbis Terrarum circumnavigatione, Carolo Wilkes e Classe Republicae Faederatae Duce, lexit et descripsit." Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia Vol 5 247 254
9. de Haan W. 1833-1849 "Crustacea." In, P. F. Von Siebold (ed.), Fauna Japonica 4, XVII, XXXI, J. Muller, Amsterdam
10. Dell R. K. 1960 "Crabs (Decapoda, Brachyura) of the Chatham Islands 1954 Expedition." New Zealand Department of Science and Industry Research Bulletin 139 (1) (New Zealand Oceanographic Institution Memoir No. 4): 1-8, 2 pls
11. Dennell R. 1947 "A study of an insect cuticle: the formation of the puparium of Sarcophaga falculata Pand. (Dipt)." Proceeding of the Royal Society of London Part B Vol 134 79 110
12. Dillaman R. M. , Hequembourg S. , Gay M. 2005 "Early pattern of calcification in the dorsal carapace of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus." Journal of Morphology Vol 263 356 374
13. Donaldson W. F. 1981 "Growth, age and size at maturity of tanner crab Chionoecetes bairdi M. J. Rathbun in the northern gulf of Alaska (Decapoda, Brachyura)." Crustaceana Vol 40 286 302
14. Drach P. 1939 "Mue et cycle d'intermue chez les crustaces decapodes." Annales de l'Institut Oceanographique, Paris Vol 19 103 391
15. Drach P. , Tchernigovtzeff C. 1967 "Sur la mthode de dtermination des stades d'intermue et son application gnrale aux crustaces." Vie Milieu Vol 18 595 610
16. Elliott E. A. , Dillaman R. M. 1999 "Formation of the branchiostegal cuticle of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus." Journal of Morphology Vol 240 267 281
17. Feldmann R. M. , Tshudy D. 1987 "Ultrastructure in cuticle from Hoploparia stokesi (Decapoda: Nephropidae) from the Lopez de Bertodano Formation (Late Cretaceous-Paleocene) of Seymour Island, Antarctica." Journal of Paleontology Vol 61 6 1194 1203
18. Feldmann R. M. , Gadzicki A. 1998 "Cuticular ultrastructure of fossil and living homolodromiid crabs (Decapoda: Brachyura)." Acta Palaeontologica Polonica Vol 43 1 19
19. Finney W. C. , Abele L. G. 1981 "Allometric variation and sexual maturity in the obligate coral commensal Trapezia ferruginea Latreille (Decapoda, Xanthidae)." Crustaceana Vol 41 113 130
20. Gibbes L. R. 1850 "On the carcinological collections of the cabinets of natural history in the United States with an enumeration of the species contained therein, and descriptions of new species." Proceedings of the Third Meeting of the American Association for Advancement of Science Vol 3 167 201
21. Green J. P. , Neff M. R. 1972 "A survey of the fine structure of the integument of the fiddler crab." Tissue and Cell Vol 4 137 171
22. Guimarães F. J. , Negreiros-Fransozo M. L. 2005 "Juvenile development and growth patterns in the mud crab Eurytium limosum (Say, 1818) (Decapoda, Brachyura, Xanthidae) under laboratory conditions." Journal of Natural History Vol 39 2145 2161
23. Guinot D. , Breton G. 2006 "Lithophylax trigeri A. Milne-Edwards & Brocchi, 1879 from the French Cretaceous (Cenomanian) and placement of the family Lithophylacidae Van Straelen, 1936 (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura)." Geodiversitas Vol 28 591 633
24. Haefner P. A. Jr. , Van Engel W. A. 1975 "Aspects of molting, growth and survival of male rock crabs, Cancer irroratus, in Chesapeake Bay." Chesapeake Science Vol 16 253 265
25. Haj A. E. , Feldmann R. M. 2002 "Functional morphology and taxonomic significance of a novel cuticular structure in Cretaceous Raninid crabs (Decapoda: Brachyura: Raninidae)." Journal of Paleontology Vol 76 472 485
26. Hartnoll R. G. 1978 "The determination of relative growth in crustacea." Crustaceana Vol 34 281 292
27. Hegdahl T. , Silness J. , Gustavsen E. 1977 "The structure and mineralization of the carapace of the crab (Cancer pagurus L.). 1. the endocuticle." Zoologica Scripts Vol 6 89 99
28. Jacquinot H. , Lucas H. 1853 "Voyage au Pole Sud et dans l'Oceanie sur les Corvettes L'Astrolabe et La Zelee. Zoologie 3, Crustaces." Gide et Baudry: Paris
29. Josileen J. , Menon N. G. 2005 "Growth of the blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Decapoda, Brachyura) in captivity." Crustaceana Vol 78 1 18
30. Linnaeus Cvon 1758 Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis: edition 10, volume 1, Laurentii Salvii Homiae (Stockholm), 824 p
31. Marlowe R. L. , Dillaman R. M. , Roer R. D. 1994 "Lectin binding by crustacean cuticle: the cuticle of Callinectes sapidus throughout the molt cycle, and the intermolt cuticle of Procambarus clarkii and Ocypode quadrata." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 14 231 246
32. Miller T. J. , Smith S. G. 2003 "Modeling crab growth and population dynamics: insights from the Blue Crab Conference." Bulletin of Marine Science Vol 72 537 541
33. Neville A. C. , Berg C. W. 1971 "Cuticle ultrastructure of a Jurassic crustacean (Eryma stricklandi)." Palaeontology Vol 14 201 205
34. Newcombe C. L. , Campbell F. , Eckstine A. M. 1949 "A study of the form and growth of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus." Growth Vol 13 71 96
35. Olmni E. J. III , Bishop J. M. 1983 "Variations in total width-weight relationships of blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, in relation to sex, maturity, molt stage, and carapace form." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 3 575 581
36. Pratoomchat B. , Sawangwong P. , Guedes R. , De Lurdes Reis M. , Machado J. 2002 "Cuticle ultrastructure changes in the crab Scylla serrata over the molt cycle." Journal of Experimental Zoology Vol 293 414 426
37. Priester C. , Dillaman R. M. , Gay D. M. 2005 "Ultrastructure, histochemistry, and mineralization patterns in the ecdysial suture of the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus." Microscopy and Microanalysis Vol 11 479 499
38. Promwikorn W. , Boonyoung P. , Kirirat P. 2005 "Histological characterization of cuticular depositions throughout the molting cycle of the black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon)." Songklanakarin Journal of Science and Technology Vol 27 499 509
39. Promwikorn W. , Kirirat P. , Intasaro P. , Withyachumnarnkul B. 2007 "Changes in integument histology and protein expression related to the molting cycle of the black tiger shrimp, Penaeus monodon." Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, Part B Vol 148 1 20 31
40. Ptz K. , Buchholz F. 1991 "Comparative ultrastructure of the cuticle of some pelagic, nektobenthic and benthic malacostracan crustaceans." Marine Biology Vol 110 49 58
41. Rathbun M. J. 1896 "The genus Callinectes." Proceedings of the United States National Museum Vol 18 (for 1895) 349 375 pls. 12-28
42. Raup D. M. , Stanley S. M. 1978 "Principles of Paleontology." Freeman Press, New York. 481 pp
43. Restrepo V. 1989 "Growth estimates for male stone crabs along the Southwest coast of Florida: A synthesis of available data and methods." Transactions of the American Fisheries Society Vol 118 20 29
44. Roer R. , Dillaman R. 1984 "The structure and calcification of the crustacean cuticle." American Zoologist Vol 24 893 909
45. Roer R. , Dillaman R. M. 1993 "Molt-related change in integumental structure and function, pp. 1-37." In, M. Horst and J. A. Freeman (eds.), The Crustacean Integument-Morphology and Biochemistry, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL
46. Rufino M. M. , Abell P. , Yule A. B. 2006 "Geographic and gender shape differences in the carapace of Liocarcinus depurator (Brachyura: Portunidae) using geometric morphometrics and the influence of a digitizing method." Journal of Zoology Vol 269 4 458 465
47. Say T. 1817-1818 "An account of the Crustacea of the United States." Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 1(1)(1817): 57-63, 65-80, 97-101, 155-169; (2)(1818): 235-253, 313-319, 374-401, 423-444, 445-458, plate 4
48. Skinner D. M. 1962 "The structure and metabolism of a crustacean integumentary tissue during a molt cycle." Biological Bulletin Vol 123 635 647
49. Skinner D. M. , Kumari S. S. , O'Brien J. J. 1992 "Proteins of the crustacean exoskeleton." American Zoology Vol 32 470 484
50. Somerton D. A. 1980 "Fitting straight lines to Hiatt growth diagrams: a re-evaluation." ICES Journal of Marine Science Vol 39 15 19
51. Stimpson W. 1860 "Notes on North American Crustacea, in the Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, No. II." Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of New York Vol 7 177 246 , pls. 2, 5 (April 1860). Pages 49-118, pls. 2, 3 on separate
52. Travis D. F. 1955 "The molting cycle of the spiny lobster, Panulirus argus Latreille. III. physiological changes which occur in the blood and urine during the normal molting cycle." Biological Bulletin Vol 109 484 503
53. Travis D. F. 1957 "The molting cycle of the spiny lobster, Panulirus argus Latreille. IV. post-ecdysial histological and histochemical changes in the hepatopancreas and integumental tissues." Biological Bulletin Vol 113 451 479
54. Travis D. F. 1960 "Matrix and mineral deposition in skeletal structures of the decapod crustacea. pp. 57-116." In, R. F. Sognnaes (ed.), Calcification in Biological Systems. Washington: AAAS
55. Travis D. F. 1963 "Structural features of mineralization from tissue to macromolecular levels of organization in the decapod Crustacea." Annals New York Academy of Sciences Vol 109 177 245
56. Tweedie E. P. , Coblentz F. E. , Shafer T. H. 2004 "Purification of a soluble glycoprotein from the uncalcified ecdysial cuticle of the blue crab Callinectes sapidus and its possible role in initial mineralization." Journal of Experimental Biology Vol 207 2589 2598
57. Vega F. J. , Perrilliat M. C. 1989 "Una especie nueva del gnero Costacopluma (Arthropoda: Decapoda) del Maastrichtiano de Nuevo Len." Mxico, Universidad Nacional Autnoma, Instituto de Geologa, Revista Vol 8 84 87
58. Vega F. J. , Feldmann R. M. , Davila-Alcocer V. M. 1994 "Cuticular structure in Costacopluma mexicana Vega and Perrilliat, from the Difunta Group (Maastrichtian) of northeastern Mexico, and its paleoenvironmental implications." Journal of Paleontology Vol 68 1074 1081
59. Vega F. J. , Davila V. , Lehman T. 1998 "Cuticle structure and taphonomy of Dakoticancer australis Rathbun; paleoecological implications for a Late Cretaceous shore in Northeast Mexico." Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America Vol 30 3 34
60. Vega F. J. , Dvila-Alcocer V. M. , Filkorn H. F. 2005 "Characterization of cuticle structure in Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary decapod Crustacea from Mexico." Bulletin of the Mizunami Fossil Museum Vol 32 37 43
61. Vega-Villasante F. , Corts-Jacinto E. , Garca-Guerrero M. 2007 "Contribution to the knowledge of moulting and growth of Callinectes arcuatus Ordway, 1863 (Brachyura, Portunidae) in Baja California Sur, Mexico." Crustaceana Vol 80 7 769 778
62. Vigh D. A. , Dendinger J. E. 1982 "Temporal relationships of postmolt deposition of calcium, magnesium, chitin and protein in the cuticle of the Atlantic blue crab, Callinecties sapidus." Rathbun. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Vol 2 365 369
63. Waddy S. L. , Aiken D. E. , De Kleijn D. P. V. 1995 "Control of growth and reproduction pp. 217-266." In, Biology of the lobster Homarus americanus, J. R. Factor (ed.), Academic Press, New York
64. Waugh D. A. , Feldmann R. M. 2003 "Cuticle microstructure as a new tool in systematic paleontology." Contributions to Zoology Vol 72 191 193
65. Waugh D. A. , Feldmann R. M. , Schweitzer C. E. Accepted "Systematic evaluation of raninid cuticle microstructure." Bulletin of the Mizunami Fossil Museum
66. Waugh D. A. , Feldmann R. M. , Schroeder A. M. , Mutel M. H. E. 2006 "Differential cuticle architecture and its preservation in fossil and extant Callinectes and Scylla claws." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 26 271 282
67. Waugh D. A. , Feldmann R. M. , Thomas K. B. , Crawford R. S. , Jakobsen S. L. 2004 "Epibiont preservational and observational bias in fossil marine decapods." Journal of Paleontology Vol 78 961 972
68. White A. 1843 "List of the annulose animals hitherto recorded as found in New Zealand, with descriptions of some new species, pp. 265-296." In, E. Dieffenbach (ed.), Travels in New Zealand; with Contributions to the Geography, Geology, Botany and Natural History of that Country, Volume 2, The Fauna of New Zealand. Murray: London
69. Williams C. L. , Dillaman R. M. , Elliott E. A. , Gay D. M. 2003 "Formation of the arthrodial membrane in the blue crab, Callinectes sapidus." Journal of Morphology Vol 256 260 269

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Crustacean Biology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation