Growth and moulting of wild-born immature snow crabs (Chionoecetes opilio (Fabricius, 1788)) were investigated by laboratory culture experiments. Crabs with 16.2-42.9 mm carapace width caught from the Sea of Japan were cultured at a temperature of their natural habitat (approximately 1°C). The growth indices (size increments at moulting in mm and in % of premoult carapace width) and intermoult period were significantly affected by premoult carapace width, but sex did not affect these variables. Furthermore, we demonstrated that premoult carapace width and days after moulting significantly affected moulting probability and we developed a moulting probability model based on these variables. From this model, the number of days of intermoult periods when moults occurred in 50% of crabs of instars VI, VII and VIII was estimated at 234, 284 and 346 days, respectively.
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The bathymetric distribution of Chionoecetes opilio and C. japonicus (Majidae; Brachyura) in the western and northern areas of the Sea of Japan.
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