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

Reproduction of the Black Land Crab, Gecarcinus Ruricola, in the San Andres Archipelago, Western Caribbean

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 Reproductive biology of the black land crab, Gecarcinus ruricola (Linnaeus, 1758), has been studied in the San Andres Archipelago in the Western Caribbean, on the islands of San Andres and Old Providence. Both sexes become mature at about 50 mm maximum carapace width, and very few specimens below this size take part in the annual breeding migration. In females the ovaries mature progressively from January to April, and laying occurs from May to July. There is no evidence that individual females lay more that once in a year. The breeding migrations were monitored in 2003 and 2004 by recording specimens crossing the coast road (running 50-100 m from the upper shore). On both San Andres and Old Providence migration was limited to specific stretches of the western shores. On both islands migration occurred from late April to July, intensity varying with time. Migration peaks were not consistent between islands or years, and could not be clearly linked to environmental factors. Migrating crabs were mostly female (> 80%), and a proportion were bearing ripe eggs: on San Andres ovigerous female predominated. Thus some females mated and laid eggs on the landward side of the coast road, others on the seaward side. Migrating females were on average larger than migrating males, in contrast to the situation in the non-migrating populations. Log egg number varied isometrically with log carapace width (slope ∼3.0): for 70 mm CW the calculated fecundity was 85,000 eggs. Percentage reproductive investment, based on dry weight, ranged from 1.7 to 9.8%, with a mean of 4.95%. Recruitment was only observed once, with a mass return of megalops to Old Providence in June 2004. All evidence points to very irregular recruitment.

Affiliations: 1: a (RGH, correspondence) Port Erin Marine Laboratory, University of Liverpool, Port Erin, Isle of Man IM9 5ED, British Isles (; ; 2: b (MSPB) Motupore Island Research Centre, University of Papua New Guinea, PO Box 320, University 134, National Capital District, Papua New Guinea; ; 3: c (AB, YG, JJ, AV) CORALINA, San Luis Road, KM 26, PO Box 725, San Andres Island, Colombia; ; 4: d (MGR) School of Life Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, U.K


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Baeza J. A. , Fernandez M. 2002 "Active brood care in Cancer setosus (Crustacea: Decapoda): the relationship between female behaviour, embryo oxygen consumption and the cost of brooding." Functional Ecology Vol 16 241 251
2. Baine M. , Howard M. , Kerr S. , Edgar G. , Toral V. 2007 "Coastal and marine resource management in the Galapagos Islands and the Archipelago of San Andres: Issues, problems and opportunities." Ocean and Coastal Management Vol 50 148 173
3. Baine M. , Howard M. , Taylor E. , James J. , Velasco A. , Grandas Y. , Hartnoll R. G. in press "The development of management options for the black land crab (Gecarcinus ruricola) catchery in the San Andres Archipelago, Colombia." Ocean and Coastal Management
4. Bliss D. E. , van Montfrans J. , van Montfrans M. , Boyer J. R. 1978 "Behaviour and growth of the land crab Gecarcinus lateralis (Frminville) in Southern Florida." Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History Vol 160 111 152
5. Britton J. C. , Kroh G. C. , Golightly C. 1982 "Biometric and ecological relationships in two sympatric Caribbean Gecarcinidae (Crustacea: Decapoda)." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 2 207 222
6. Calman W. T. 1911 "The Life of Crustacea." Methuen & Co., London
7. Capistran-Barrados A. , Defoeo O. , Moreno-Casasola P. 2003 "Density and population structure of the red land crab Gecarcinus lateralis in a tropical semi-deciduous forest in Veracruz, Mexico." Interciencia Vol 28 323 345
8. Carson H. L. 1967 "The association between Drosophila carcinophila Wheeler and its host, the land crab Gecarcinus ruricola (L)." American Midland Nauralist Vol 78 324 343
9. Carson H. L. 1974 "Three flies and three islands: Parallel evolution in Drosophila." Proceedings of the National Academy of Science Vol 71 3517 3521
10. Chace F. A. , Hobbs H. H. 1969 "The freshwater and terrestrial decapod crustaceans of the West Indies with special reference to Dominica." Bulletin of the U.S. National Museum Vol 292 1 258
11. Costlow J. D. , Bookhout C. G. 1968 "The complete larval development of the land-crab, Cardisoma guanhumi Latreille in the laboratory (Brachyura, Gecarcinidae)." Crustaceana Supplement Vol 2 259 270
12. Ehrhardt J-P. , Niaussat P. 1970 "Ecologie et physiologie du brachyoure terrestre Gecarcinus planatus Stimpson (d'aprs les individs de l'atoll de Clipperton)." Bulletin de la Socit Zoologique de France Vol 95 41 54
13. Fimpel E. 1975 "Phnomene der Landadaptation bei terrestrischen und semiterrestrischen Brachyura der brasilianischen Kste (Malacostraca, Decapoda)." Zoologische Jahrbcher Systematik Vol 102 173 214
14. Gibson-Hill C. A. 1947 "Field notes on the terrestrial crabs." Bulletin of the Raffles Museum Vol 18 43 52
15. Gifford C. A. 1962 "Some observations on the general biology of the land crab, Cardisoma guanhumi (Latreille), in south Florida." Biological Bulletin Vol 123 207 223
16. Hartnoll R. G. 1963 "The biology of Manx spider crabs." Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London Vol 141 423 496
17. Hartnoll R. G. 1965a "The biology of spider crabs: a comparison of British and Jamaican species." Crustaceana Vol 9 1 16
18. Hartnoll R. G. 1965b "Notes on the marine grapsid crabs of Jamaica." Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London Vol 176 113 147
19. Hartnoll R. G. 1968a "Morphology of the genital ducts in female crabs." Journal of the Linnean Society (Zoology) Vol 47 279 300
20. Hartnoll R. G. 1968b "Reproduction in the burrowing crab Corystes cassivelaunus (Pennant, 1777) (Decapoda, Brachyura)." Crustaceana Vol 15 165 170
21. Hartnoll R. G. 1988 "Evolution, systematics and geographical distribution." pp. 6-54. In, W. W. Burggren and B. R. McMahon (eds.), Biology of Land Crabs. Cambridge University Press
22. Hartnoll R. G. 2006 "Reproductive investment in Brachyura." Hydrobiologia Vol 557 31 40
23. Hartnoll R. G. , Clark P. 2006 "A mass recruitment event in the land crab Gecarcinus ruricola (Linnaeus, 1758) Brachyura: Grapsoidea: Gecarcinidae, and a description of the megalop." Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society Vol 146 149 164
24. Hartnoll R. G. , Mackintosh T. , Pelembe T. J. 2006a "Johngarthia lagostoma (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) on Ascension Island: a very isolated land crab population." Crustaceana Vol 79 197 215
25. Hartnoll R. G. , Baine M. S P. , Grandas Y. , James J. , Atkin H. 2006b "Population biology of the black land crab, Gecarcinus ruricola, in the San Andres Archipelago, Western Caribbean." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 26 316 325
26. Henning H. G. 1975 "Okologische, ethologische und sinnesphysiologische an der Landkrabbe Cardisoma guanhumi Latreille (Decapoda, Brachyura) in Nordcolumbien." Forma et Functio Vol 8 253 304
27. Hicks J. W. 1985 "The breeding behaviour and migrations of the terrestrial crab Gecarcoidea natalis." Australian Journal of Zoology Vol 33 127 142
28. Hines A. S. 1982 "Allometric constraints and variables of reproductive effort in brachyuran crabs." Marine Biology Vol 69 309 320
29. Hoeven E. C van der , Walters L. M H. 1988 "Meer over de Ecologie en de Populatiedynamiek van de Landkrab Gecarcinus ruricola (Latreille) op Saba. De Mogelijkheden tot Crabfarming op Saba." Proceedings of the Saba Crab Research Centre Vol 2 1 36
30. Keith D. E. 1985 "Shallow-water and terrestrial brachyuran crabs of Roatan and the Swan Islands." Sarsia Vol 70 251 278
31. Klaassen F. 1975 "Okologische und ethologische Untersechungen zur Fortpflanzungsbiologie von Gecarcinus lateralis (Decapoda, Brachyura)." Forma et Functio Vol 8 101 174
32. Liu H-C. , Jeng M-S. 2005 "Reproduction of Epigrapsus notatus (Brachyura: Gecarcinidae) in Taiwan." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 25 135 140
33. Liu H-C. , Jeng M-S. 2007 "Some aspects of the reproduction of Gecarcoidea lalandii (Brachyura: Gecarcinidae) in Taiwan." Zoological Studies Vol 46 347 354
34. Magin C. 2003 "Development of a National Strategy for Sustainable Wildlife Use for the Commonwealth of Dominica. Wildlife Survey Report." Unpublished Report, Fauna and Flora International, Cambridge
35. Maitland D. P. 2002 "Convergent design of Caribbean and Philippine bamboo land-crab traps." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 22 497 501
36. Mulder A. , Stam E. 1987 "Ecologische en Populatiedynamische Waarnemingen aan de Landkrab Gecarcinus ruricola (Latreille) op Saba and Ein Simulatiensmodel voor de geexploiteerde Populatie." Proceedings of the Saba Crab Research Centre Vol 1 1 40
37. Ng P. K L. , Guinot D. 2001 "On the land crabs of the genus Discoplax A. Milne. Edwards, 1867 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Gecarcinidae), with description of a new cavernicolous species from the Philippines." The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Vol 49 311 338
38. Nordhaus I. , Wolff M. , Diele K. 2006 "Litter processing and population food intake of the mangrove crab Ucides cordatus in a high intertidal forest in northern Brazil." Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science Vol 67 239 250
39. Oh C-W. , Hartnoll R. G. 1999 "Brood loss during incubation in Philocheras trispinosus (Decapoda) in Port Erin Bay, Isle of Man." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 19 467 476
40. O'Mahoney P. M. , Full R. J. 1984 "Respiration of crabs in air and water." Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Vol 79A 275 282
41. Parsons J. J. 1956 "San Andres and Providencia. English speaking islands in the western Caribbean." Public Geography Vol 12 1 84
42. Prahl H. Von , Manjarres G. 1983 "Cangrejos gecarcnidos (Crustacea: Gecarcinidae) de la Isla de Providencia, Columbia." Caribbean Journal of Science Vol 19 31 34
43. Shokita S. 1971 "On the spawning habits of the land crab Cardisoma hirtipes Dana from Ishigaki Island, in the Ryuku Islands." Biological Magazine of Okinawa Vol 7 27 32
44. Sjogreen M. 1999 "Estudio bioecologico de la poblacin de cangrejos Gecarcinus ruricola en las isles de Providencia y Santa Catalina." Dissertation, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota
45. Stebbing T. R R. 1893 "A History of Crustacea." Kegan Paul, Tench, Trbner & Co., London
46. Willems K. A. 1982 "Larval development of the land crab Gecarcinus lateralis lateralis (Frminville, 1835) (Brachyura: Gecarcinidae) reared in the laboratory." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 2 180 201
47. Wolcott T. G. 1984 "Uptake of interstitial water from soil: mechanisms and ecological significance in the ghost crab Ocypode quadrata and two gecarcinid land crabs." Physiological Zoology Vol 57 161 184
48. Wolcott T. G. , Wolcott D. L. 1982 "Larval loss and spawning behaviour in the land crab Gecarcinus lateralis (Freminville)." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 4 477 485
49. Wolcott T. G. , Wolcott D. L. 1988 "Availability of salts is not a limiting factor for the land crab Gecarcinus lateralis (Frminville)." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 120 199 219

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