Notes on the biology of the deep-sea crab Paramola cuvieri (Risso, 1816) (Decapoda, Homolidae) in the Canary Islands (central-east Atlantic)

in Crustaceana
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


The box crab (Paramola cuvieri) was relatively frequent in trap catches from 288 to 906 m depth off the Canary Islands (central-east Atlantic), the greatest abundance being recorded between 400 and 700 m. From winter to the beginning of summer, a displacement of adult crabs from deeper waters (800 m) to areas of intermediate depths (600 m) was noted, probably due to reproductive requirements. Although no significant difference was observed in the depth distribution by sexes, larger females were generally caught at shallower depths and ovigerous specimens were mainly caught in the 350-400 m depth interval. Males were heavier, larger, and broader than females, but they were less abundant.

Notes on the biology of the deep-sea crab Paramola cuvieri (Risso, 1816) (Decapoda, Homolidae) in the Canary Islands (central-east Atlantic)

in Crustaceana



AbellóP.CarbonellA.TorresP.2002. Biogeography of epibenthic crustaceans on the shelf and upper slope off the Iberian Peninsula Mediterranean coasts: implications for the establishment of natural management areas. Sci. Mar.66: 183-198.

BasC.CastroJ. J.Hernández-GarcíaV.LorenzoJ. M.MorenoT.PajueloJ. G.RamosA. G.1995. La pesca en Canarias y áreas de influencia. (Ediciones del Cabildo Insular de Gran Canaria Las Palmas de Gran Canaria).

BennettJ. T.TurekianK. K.1984. Radiometric ages of brachyuran crabs from the Galapagos spreading-center hydrothermal ventfield. Limnol. Oceanogr.29: 1088-1091.

BiscoitoM.1997. Paramola cuvieri (Risso, 1816), Chaceon affinis (Milne-Edwards & Bouvier, 1894) Bathynectes maravigna (Prestandrea, 1839). In: DesbruyeresD.SegonzacM. (eds.) Handbook of deep-sea hydrothermal vent fauna: 205-207. (IFREMERBrest).

BlasdaleT.ClarkeM.HareideN. R.LargeP.MacmullenP.RihanD.BeareD.HopkinsP.2006. Report of the Working Group on Deep-sea Gillnet Fisheries. STECF ADHOC-06-01. (Commission of the European Communities Brussels).

Braga-HenriquesA.Carreiro-SilvaM.TemperaF.Mora-PorteiroF.JakobsenK.JakobsenJ.AlbuquerqueM.Serrão-SantosR.2012. Carrying behavior in the deep-sea crab Paromola cuvieri (northeast Atlantic). Mar. Biodiver.42: 37-46.

CartesJ. E.1993a. Deep-sea decapod fauna of the western Mediterranean: bathymetric distribution and biogeographic aspects. Crustaceana65: 29-40.

CartesJ. E.1993b. Diets of deep-sea brachyuran crabs in the western Mediterranean Sea. Mar. Biol.117: 449-457.

CartesJ. E.1998. Feeding strategies and partition of food resources in deep-water decapod crustaceans (400-2300 m). J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K.78: 509-524.

CartesJ. E.MaynouF.SardàF.CompanyJ. B.LlorisD.TudelaS.2004. An overview of their diversity, structure, functioning and anthropogenic impacts, Part 1. In: The Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystems: an overview of their diversity structure functioning and anthropogenic impacts with a proposal form conservation: 9-38. (IUCNMalafa and WWFRome).

CartesJ. E.SardàF.1992. Abundance and diversity of decapod crustaceans in the deep-Catalan Sea (western Mediterranean). J. Nat. Hist.26: 1305-1323.

CastriotaL.FalautanoM.RomeroT.FlorioJ.PelusiP.FinoiaM. G.AndaloroF.2004. Crustacean fishery with bottom traps in an area of the southern Tyrrhenian Sea: species composition, abundance and biomass. Mediterr. Mar. Sci.5: 12-22.

CastroJ. J.Hernández-GarcíaV.Santana-OrtegaA. T.CuyásC.AlmonacidE.Hernández-LópezJ. L.CuscóR.2011. Contribution to the biology of the deep-sea swimming crab Bathynectes maravigna (Prestandrea, 1839) (Decapoda, Pontunidae) in waters of the Canary Islands (Central-East Atlantic). Crustaceana84: 169-186.

CastroJ. J.Hernández-GarcíaV.Santana-OrtegaA. T.Pérez-GonzálezY.Trujillo-SantanaA.Caballero-AlfonsoA. M.GanzedoU.2010. Contribution to the biology and fishery of the deep-water red crab, Chaceon affinis (A. Milne-Edwards & Bouvier, 1894) (Decapoda, Brachyura, Geryonidae) in deep waters of the Canary Islands (Central-East Atlantic). Crustaceana83: 1231-1249.

CompanyJ. B.SardàF.2000. Growth parameters of the deep-water decapod crustaceans on the northwestern Mediterranean Sea: a comparative approach. Mar. Biol.136: 79-90.

DofleinF.1904. Brachyura. In: Wissenschafiliche Ergebnisse der Deutschen Tiefsee-Expedition auf dem Dampfer “Valdivia” 1898-1899 6: xiv + 314 pages 68 figures. Atlas plates 1-58.

FanelliE.CollocaF.ArdizzoneG.2007. Decapod crustacean assemblages off the west coast of central Italy (Western Mediterranean). Sci. Mar.71: 19-28.

FigueiraA. J. G.1964. A new record of Paramola cuvieri (Risso) from the Azores (Crustacea Decapoda, Thelxipeidae). Açoreana6: 69-712 plates.

FloresA. V.PaulaJ.2002. Population dynamics of the shore crab Pachygrapsus marmoratus (Brachyura: Grapsidae) in the central Portuguese coast. J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K.82: 229-241.

García-CabreraC.1970. La pesca en Canarias y Banco Sahariano. (Consejo Económico Sindical Interprovincial de Canarias Las Palmas).

GayaniloF. C.Jr.SparreP.PaulyD.2005. FAO-ICLARM stock assessment tools II (FiSAT II). Available online at (Worldfish Center and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Rome).

González-PérezJ. A.1995. Catálogo de los crustáceos decápodos de las Islas Canarias: gambas langostas cangrejos. (Publicaciones Turquesa Santa Cruz de Tenerife).

GordonI.1956. Paramola cuvieri (Risso), a crab new to the Orkney, Shetlands and Norway. Nature178: 1184-1185.

GoudswaardK. (P. C.)Ould-MeissaB.2006. Discards in the Mauritania shrimp fisheries. An evaluation of lost value. Wageningen IMARES Institute for Marine Resources and Ecosystem Studies. Report Number C067/06.

Guillén-NietoJ. E.1990. Catálogo de los crustáceos decápodos de la provincia de Alicante. Instituto de Cultura Juan Gil-Albert. (Diputación de Alicante Alicante).

HatieL. C.1995. Deep-water geryonid crabs: a continental slope resource. Oceanogr. Mar. Biol. Annu. Rev.33: 561-584.

HaywardP. J.RylandJ. S.1990. The marine fauna of the British Isles and North-West Europe: 1. Introduction and protozoans to arthropods. (Clarendon PressOxford).

Hernández-GarcíaV.Hérnández-LópezJ. L.CastroJ. J.1998. The small-scale trap fishery on octopus (Octopus vulgaris) off the Canary Islands (Central East Atlantic). Fish. Res.35: 183-189.

HolthuisL. B.1981. True crabs. In: W. Fisher G. Bianchi & W. B. Scott (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Eastern Central Atlantic; fishing areas 34 47 (in part). Canada Funds-in-Trust. Ottawa Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada by arrangement with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Vol. 4.

HolthuisL. B.1987. Vrais Crabes. In: W. Fisher M. Schneider & M. L. Bauchot (eds.) Fiches FAO d’identification des espèces pour les besoins de la pêche. Méditerranée et Mer Noire Zone de pêche 37 Révision 1 Vol. 1 Végetaux et invertébrés: 323-333. (FAO Rome).

Jiménez-MartínS.2012. Biological aspects of Paramola cuvieri (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Homolidae) in Gran Canaria waters. (M.Sc. Thesis Fisheries Management University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Las Palmas).

KensleyB.1980. Decapod and isopod crustaceans from the west coast of southern Africa, including seamounts Vema and Tripp. Ann. S. Afr. Mus.83(2): 13-32.

KensleyB.1981. On the zoogeography of Southern African decapod Crustacea, with a distributional checklist of the species. Smithson. Contrib. Zool.338: 1-64.

López-AbellánL. J.BalgueríasE.Fernández-VergazV.2002. Life history characteristics of the deep-see crab Chaceon affinis population off Tenerife (Canary Islands). Fish. Res.58: 231-239.

López-AbellánL. J.García-SantamaríaM. T.BalgueríasE.1994. Resultados de la campaña experimental de pesca realizada en aguas del sur de la isla de Tenerife “CANARIAS 9206”. Inf. Téc. Inst. Esp. Oceanogr.147: 1-57.

ManningR. B.HolthuisL. B.1981. West African brachyuran crabs (Crustacea Decapoda). Smithson. Contrib. Zool.306: 1-379.

MoriM.MancoriR.1990. Macroepizoites with Paramola cuvieri (Risso, 1816) (Decapoda, Homolidae) of the Ligurian Sea. Crustaceana58: 124-129.

MuraM.CauA.1994. Community structure of the decapod crustaceans in the middle bathyal zone of the Sardinian Channel. Crustaceana67: 259-266.

PinhoM. R.GonçalvesJ. M.MartinsH. R.MenezesG. M.2001. Some aspects of the biology of the deep-water crab, Chaceon affinis (Milne-Edwards and Bouvier, 1894) off the Azores. Fish. Res.51: 283-295.

PipitoneC.TumbioloM. L.1993. Decapod and stomatopod crustaceans from the trawlable bottoms of the Sicilian Channel (central Mediterranean Sea). Crustaceana65: 358-364.

PolitouC. Y.MaioranoP.D’onghiaG.MytilineouC.2005. Deep-water decapod crustacean fauna of the eastern Ionian Sea. Belg. J. Zool.135: 235-241.

RihanD.MulliganM.McdonaldD.MharaB. I.HareideN.-R.2006. Gillnet retrieval survey 2006. Hareide Fishery Cosultants/Marine Institute. Part funded the NDP supporting measures programme 2002-2006 (NDP Project No. 06.SM.T1.06).

Romero-EspàrrachM.2012. The biology of the Paramola cuvieri in Gran Canaria. (M.Sc. Thesis Fisheries Management Univ. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Las Palmas).

SabatiniA.FollesaM. C.LocciI.MattaG.PalmasF.PendugiuA. A.PesciP.CauA.2011. Demersal assemblages in two trawl fishing lanes locates on the Baronie Seamount (central western Mediterranean). J. Mar. Biol. Ass. U.K.91: 65-75.

SchneiderW.1990. FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Field guide to the commercial marine resources of the Gulf of Guinea. Prepared and published with the support of the FAO Regional Office for Africa: 1-286. (FAORome).

SherhyM. R. J.PriorA. E.2008. Progress on an old question for stock assessment of the edible crab Cancer pagurus. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.353: 191-202.

ThursonM.1987. Record-breaking crab is not such stranger catch. New Scientist1554: 24.

UngaroN.MaranoC. A.CeriolaL.MartinoM.2005. Distribution of demersal crustaceans in the southern Adriatic Sea. Acta Adriat.46: 27-40.

Zariquiey-ÁlvarezR.1968. Crustáceos decápodos ibéricos. Invest. Pesq. Barcelona32: 1-510.


  • View in gallery

    Areas (dashed zones) were deep-sea exploratory surveys were done off the Canary Islands in February-April and June-July 2003. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

  • View in gallery

    Length-frequency distribution of males and females of Paramola cuvieri (Risso, 1816) caught around the Canary Islands in February-April and June-July 2003.

  • View in gallery

    a, Carapace length and b, weight ranges of Paramola cuvieri (Risso, 1816) caught at each island fishing ground (Lz = Lanzarote; GC = Gran Canaria; Tf = Tenerife; Gm = Gomera; LP = La Palma).

  • View in gallery

    Abundance of Paramola cuvieri (Risso, 1816), measured as gram per fishing hour, by depth interval: a, February-April; b, June-July 2003.

  • View in gallery

    Depth distribution of Paramola cuvieri (Risso, 1816) by island fishing grounds (Lz = Lanzarote; GC = Gran Canaria; Tf = Tenerife; Gm = Gomera; LP = La Palma).

  • View in gallery

    Mean carapace length of females of Paramola cuvieri (Risso, 1816) by depth intervals: a, February-April; b, June-July.

  • View in gallery

    Abundance of ovigerous females of Paramola cuvieri (Risso, 1816) (in number of individuals) by depth intervals (top, February-April; down, June-July).

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 5 5 4
Full Text Views 11 11 11
PDF Downloads 2 2 2
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0