Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/46797
Title: Sex-structure, depth distribution, intermoult period and reproductive pattern of the deep-sea red crab Chaceon affinis (Brachyura, Geryonidae) in two populations in the north-eastern Atlantic
Authors: Biscoito, Manuel
Freitas, Mafalda
Pajuelo, Jose G. 
Triay-Portella, Rauel 
Santana, José I.
Costa, Ana L.
Delgado, João
Gonzalez, Jose A. 
UNESCO Clasification: 2401 Biología animal (zoología)
Keywords: Chaceon affinis
Geryonidae
Deep-sea crab
Reproductive pattern
Maturity scale, et al
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: 0967-0637
Journal: Deep-Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers 
Abstract: This work investigated the biology of Chaceon affinis in two isolated populations of the Atlantic Ocean, including depth distribution, sexual structure, reproductive patterns and intermoult period. Males were larger and heavier than females. Mean size decreased with depth for both males and females. The highest abundance was found at 600–799 m of depth for males and at 800–999 m depth stratum for females. The highest abundance of ovigerous females was found at the 800–999 m depth stratum. Of the different ovaries’ colour or colour shades recorded, only six categories were histologically characterized. The presence of spermatophores in the spermatheca of females in carapace stages II and III suggests that spermatophores are viable and used during the intermoult period. The size at sexual maturity in females was estimated at 104.4–104.7 mm carapace width (CW) in Madeira, and 109.3–110.5 mm CW in the Canary Islands. Only three categories of testes were identified. Mature testes consisted in a large mass, with highly coiled vasa deferentia visible to the naked eye. The size at sexual maturity in males was estimated at 113.8 mm CW in Madeira and 118.9 mm CW in the Canaries. The relative growth of males showed significant changes along the ontogeny and size at which allometric growth changes, as an indicator of morphometric maturity, occurred between 103.2 and 103.6 mm CW in Madeira and between 111.4 and 113.1 mm CW in the Canaries. In females, size at which allometric growth changes was found for maximum width of fifth abdominal somite (AS5W) at 98.2 mm CW in Madeira and 103.0 mm CW in the Canaries. The size at maturity obtained for C. affinis indicates that the minimum landing size (MLS) should not be set smaller than 125 mm CW in Madeira and 130 mm CW in the Canaries. This conservative MLS, higher than length at functional maturity, would safeguard immature individuals until they reach the size at which they can contribute to the reproductive capacity of the population. Ovigerous females were observed from October to April in Madeira, and in all months in the Canaries. Moreover, the observation of berried females in the last developmental stage in all quarters of the year suggests that gonad maturation and release of larvae are asynchronous throughout the spawning season. A total of 138 crabs with CW between 96 and 154 mm were tagged off Madeira. Of these, nine were recovered in the same area, more than 900 days after tagging. Eight of the recaptures were females with a wide range of CW confirming intermoult periods exceeding three years with expected growth per moult of less than 20 mm CW.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10553/46797
ISSN: 0967-0637
DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr.2014.10.010
Source: Deep-Sea Research Part I-Oceanographic Research Papers [ISSN 0967-0637], v. 95, p. 99-114
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