COLORATION CHARACTERIZATION OF POSTSETTLEMENT JUVENILE STONE CRABS (GENUS MENIPPE DE HAAN, 1833) IN THE GULF OF MEXICO BY STEPHEN P. GEIGER 1 ) and THERESA M. BERT Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 100 Eighth Avenue S.E., St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, U.S.A. ABSTRACT We examined color and patterning ( = coloration) in three collections of postsettlement (2-10 mm carapace width) juvenile stone crabs ( Menippe spp.) from the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Two collections were from locations known to have populations principally composed of single species: Tampa Bay, Florida ( M. mercenaria ), and Mississippi Sound ( M. adina ). The third collection was from a well-established hybrid zone between these species in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico off northwestern Florida. We described, quantified, and applied principal components analysis to nine coloration characters: color of (1) the carapace, (2) claws, and (3) legs; patterning on the (4) dorsal carapace surface, (5) claws, and (6) legs; and presence and intensity of (7) three white spots on the dorsal carapace, (8) single white patches on the medial surfaces of the chelae, and (9) white bands around the joints of the legs. Eight of the nine
Crustaceana – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
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