Life cycle and connectivity of the spiny lobster, Panulirus spp.: case studies from Brazil and the Wider Caribbean (Decapoda, Achelata)

In: Crustaceana
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  • 1 Fundação Cearense de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (FUNCAP), Av. Oliveira Paiva, 941 — Cidade dos Funcionários Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
  • | 2 Instituto de Ciências do Mar, Avenida da Abolição 3207, Meireles Fortaleza, Universidade Federal do Ceará (Labomar), Brazil
  • | 3 Autoridad Nacional de Acuicultura y Pesca (AUNAP), Calle 40 No. 13 13-09 Piso 6, BogotáColombia
  • | 4 Instituto Federal de Educação, Ciências e Tecnologia do Ceará (IFCE) — Campus Acaraú, Av. Des. Armando de Sales Louzada, s/n, CE, Brazil
  • | 5 Instituto Socioambiental e dos Recursos Hídricos, Universidade Federal Rural da Amazônia (UFRA), Av. Presidente Tancredo Neves 2501, Belém, PA, Brazil
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In this study, we look at recent developments in our understanding of the life cycle of the red spiny lobster Panulirus argus (Latreille, 1804) and examine the evidence for connectivity between geographical regions, especially the north-northeast Brazilian continental shelf and the Wider Caribbean. The study also covers aspects of reproduction, phyllosoma density, large-scale oceanic circulation, self-recruitment, settlement patterns, ecological behaviour, and the impact of the Amazon and Orinoco river discharge on recruitment. Our findings support the hypothesis that lobster larvae are transported by ocean currents and free eddies from Brazil to the Caribbean via the Lesser Antilles, outlining a south-to-north connectivity. In addition, we look into the probable existence of hybrids between sympatric lobster species, as evidenced by differences in colour patterns and morphology.

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