Crypsis in the mud crab Panopeus americanus Saussure, 1857 (Decapoda, Panopeidae): relationship to sexual maturity

in Crustaceana
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The present study analyses the cryptic colouration patterns in mud crabs, Panopeus americanus that live in an impacted intertidal mangrove area. The main objectives were to identify the cryptic/non-cryptic transition sizes (males and females) and their relationships to morphological and functional sexual maturity. Individuals were collected from the remnant mangrove of Araçá, on the coast of São Sebastião, São Paulo, Brazil. They were sexed, measured and classified into three colouration categories: white homogeneous, cryptic heterogeneous or dark homogeneous (non-cryptic). A logistic regression was performed to detect the size at which 50% of the population reached the dark homogeneous colouration and functional sexual maturity in females. Morphological sexual maturity for both sexes was estimated through relative growth. A progressive change from heterogeneous to dark homogeneous colouration following growth was observed. Using both analyses of maturity, we detected (1) that individuals of the white homogeneous colouration can be classified as non-reproductive and (2) that there is an overlap between the size at which 50% of females reached the dark homogeneous colouration and their functional sexual maturity (approximately 14.00 mm CW). These findings are primarily explained by ontogenetic changes in habitat use during the species’ life cycle.

Crypsis in the mud crab Panopeus americanus Saussure, 1857 (Decapoda, Panopeidae): relationship to sexual maturity

in Crustaceana

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References

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Figures

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    Individuals of Panopeus americanus Saussure, 1857 in each colour category. Size range 6.3-26.4 mm. Figure not to scale. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via http://booksandjournals.brillonline.com/content/journals/15685403.

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    Percentage of individuals of Panopeus americanus Saussure, 1857 of each colour category in relationship to size class (mm), in Araçá, northern coast of the state of São Paulo, in September 2013.

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    Logistic regression to estimate the size at which half of the population of Panopeus americanus Saussure, 1857 showed a dark homogeneous colouration, with the 95% confidence interval.

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    Logistic regression for males (A) and females (B) of Panopeus americanus Saussure, 1857 to estimate the size at which half of the population showed a dark homogeneous colouration, with the 95% confidence interval.

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    Estimated size of morphological sexual maturity for males and females of Panopeus americanus Saussure, 1857. The estimated size refers to the smallest individual after the inflection point of the equations for juveniles and adults (166 males, 189 females).

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    Percentage of ovigerous females of Panopeus americanus Saussure, 1857 in each colour category in relationship to size class (mm) in the Araçá, northern coast of the state of São Paulo in September 2013.

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    Logistic regression for females of Panopeus americanus Saussure, 1857, estimating the size at which half presented in the ovigerous condition.

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