Sexual maturity of the spider crab Libinia ferreirae was assessed for each sex, based on body dimensions and observations of gonad condition. A total of 346 crabs were analysed, of which 68% were females. Immature and adult individuals were recognized based on their allometric growth and gonad development. Abdomen width (AW) vs carapace width (CW) and propodus length (PL) vs CW were the relationships that best separated allometric groups of females and males, respectively. For females, gonad and allometric morphological maturity were, respectively, 38.77 and 39.43 mm of CW, which is close to the carapace size of the smallest ovigerous female (38.08 mm). For males, gonad maturity was 34.86 mm of CW and three allometric phases were observed: immature (IM♂), adolescent (AD♂) and adult morphometrically mature (MM♂). The IM♂ phase showed lower values of CW and PL than the AD♂ phase, without spermatophores inside the vas deferens; the AD♂ phase exhibited higher CW values than IM♂, but lower CW and PL values than the MM♂ phase, and the presence of spermatophores in the vas deferens; the MM♂ phase had higher values of CW and PL than the AD♂ phase and spermatophores in the vas deferens. Therefore, females showed synchronic morphometric, gonadal and functional maturity, while in males, gonadal maturity was attained before morphometric maturity, which probably could be a reproductive strategy for this species.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal Of The Marine Biological Association Of The United Kingdom|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Mar 2017|
- gonad maturity
- morphometric maturity
- spider crab