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MORPHOLOGY OF THE REPRODUCTIVE TRACT AND SEASONALITY OF REPRODUCTION IN THE GOLDEN CRAB GERYON FENNERI FROM THE EASTERN GULF OF MEXICO

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Reproduction and anatomy of the reproductive tracts of males and females of the golden crab Geryon fenneri were studied for one year (1984-1985) in specimens collected from deep water of the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The male crab is larger than the female. Their reproductive tracts are typical of brachyurans. Light and electron microscopic studies of the testes and vasa deferentia at various times during the year indicate that G. fenneri has a single reproductive season. Spermatogenesis begins in the fall. By January, many acini of the testes are filled with mature sperm and spermatophores and seminal fluids accumulate in the anterior and middle vasa deferentia. In March all portions of the vasa deferentia are swollen with seminal products. Mating occurs during March and April. The reproductive organs of males are reduced in size from May through September. The fully developed ovary of golden crabs is purple in color. Females oviposit in September and October. Females undergo vitellogenesis at the same time that they carry eggs undergoing embryonic development. Females with broods have ovaries which vary in color and size. They release their larvae during February and March. Females may be reproductive for several seasons and appear to be capable of mating while in the hardened condition.

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/content/journals/10.2307/1548318
1988-01-01
2016-12-10

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