Biology, abundance and distribution of Pennant’s swimming crab, Portumnus latipes (Pennant, 1777) along the coast of Portugal

in Crustaceana
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The biology, ecology and distribution of Pennant’s swimming crab (Portumnus latipes) along the coast of Portugal in 2015 was studied. Females dominated the catches and the highest percentage of berried females was recorded between February and April. Mean fecundity values were 7711, 10 004 and 4838 eggs for development stages I, II and III, respectively. Estimated Von Bertalanffy growth parameters L, K and t0 were 34.83 mm, 0.52 year−1 and −0.41 year for males, and 27.16 mm, 0.74 year−1 and −0.39 year for females, respectively. P. latipes is widely distributed along the Portuguese coast on sandy bottom to a maximum depth of 20 m, with the highest relative abundances from the south coast near estuaries and coastal lagoon inlets. Size distributions differed significantly (p<0.05) between the south and the southwest and northwest regions, with larger crabs in the south. Abundance was generally correlated with abundance of Donax trunculus and Donax vittatus, supporting the hypothesis of a predator-prey relationship.


International Journal of Crustacean Research



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  • Percentages of females and males of Portumnus latipes (Pennant, 1777) based on the total number of individuals in each sample (from February to June 2015) from Faro beach. Light grey = males; Dark grey = females.

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  • Percentage of berried Portumnus latipes (Pennant, 1777) females (dark grey) from February to June 2015, Faro Beach.

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  • Relationships between total fecundity (yellow: stage I, orange: stage II, grey: stage III) and carapace length (CL), and fitted power (yellow eggs) and linear (orange and grey eggs) models (n=20) in Portumnus latipes (Pennant, 1777). This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

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  • CL frequency distributions for both sexes of Portumnus latipes (Pennant, 1777) combined from (A) north, (B) south-west and (C) south of Portugal.

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  • Best fit (ELEFAN) Von Bertalanffy growth curves for (a) male and (b) female Portumnus latipes (Pennant, 1777). This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

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  • Number of individuals of Portumnus latipes (Pennant, 1777) per 5 min tow from different sampling locations in (top) the southeast of Portugal and (bottom) the southwest of Portugal. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

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  • Number of individuals of Portumnus latipes (Pennant, 1777) per 5 min tow from different sampling locations in (left) the west of Portugal and (right) the northwest of Portugal. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

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  • Relationships between (a) CPUE of Portumnus latipes (Pennant, 1777) and CPUE of Donax trunculus (Linnaeus, 1758) on the south coast; (b) CPUE of P. latipes and CPUE of D. trunculus + Donax vittatus (Da Costa, 1778) on the southwest coast; (c) CPUE of P. latipes and CPUE of D. vittatus on the northwest coast.

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