Growth and moulting of wild-born immature snow crabs, Chionoecetes opilio (Fabricius, 1788) (Decapoda, Majoidea), in the laboratory

in Crustaceana
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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.

Growth and moulting of wild-born immature snow crabs, Chionoecetes opilio (Fabricius, 1788) (Decapoda, Majoidea), in the laboratory

in Crustaceana



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    Relationships between premoult and postmoult carapace widths (A), growth increment (B), growth rate (C) and intermoult period (D) of immature Chionoecetes opilio (Fabricius, 1788). The straight lines were drawn from regression analyses.

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    Changes in the growth rate with premoult carapace width in male (A) and female (B) of the snow crab Chionoecetes opilio (Fabricius, 1788) in the current and previous studies. Culturing crabs were captured from the Sea of Japan (this study; Kon, 1980), Baie des Chaleurs in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence (Moriyasu et al., 1987; Hebert et al., 2002), and Baie Sainte-Marguerite in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence (Sainte-Marie et al., 1995; Alunno-Bruscia & Sainte-Marie, 1998). The culturing temperatures are shown in the legend. Sainte-Marie et al. (1995) showed a breakpoint in the regression. Hebert et al. (2002) showed the regressions for immature and adolescent crabs.

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    Moulting probability for progressively larger Chionoecetes opilio (Fabricius, 1788), in instar VI (carapace width 19.5 mm), instar VII (carapace width 27.5 mm), and instar VIII (carapace width 37.5 mm), drawn from the generalized (binomial) linear mixed-effect model (see table III). Carapace widths of each instar are from wild snow crabs reported by Ito (1970). The vertical dotted lines indicate the days for half moulting probability.

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