POPULATION DYNAMICS OF THE WESTERN AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER CRAB MICTYRIS OCCIDENTALIS UNNO, 2008 (BRACHYURA, MICTYRIDAE) IN THE DAMPIER ARCHIPELAGO — 30 YEARS OF OBSERVATIONS BY J. UNNO 1,2,3 ) and V. SEMENIUK 2 ) 1 ) School of Natural Sciences, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, WA 6027, Australia 2 ) V & C Semeniuk Research Group, 21 Glenmere Road, Warwick, WA 6024, Australia ABSTRACT The previously undescribed population dynamics of the Western Australian soldier crab, Mictyris occidentalis Unno, 2008, in King Bay, north-western Australia are elucidated, with annual observa- tions and sampling over a 30-year period from 1980 to 2010. This is the longest recorded study of a single inter-tidal brachyuran population and shows long-term persistence of soldier crab populations in stable, sheltered habitats. The life cycle of M. occidentalis follows a cryptic subsurface juvenile and immature adult ( = adolescent) phase and an emergent adult phase. Population densities were generally 500 crabs/m 2 for the early 1980s, late 1980s, and during the early 2000s. Maximum popu- lation densities were high in the mid 1980s (800 crabs/m 2 ). The spatial and temporal variability in the distribution of the population was consistent over the study period. Juvenile recruitment extends for
Crustaceana – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2011
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