VARIATION IN GROWTH PATTERN BETWEEN SOME SECONDARY SEXUAL CHARACTERS IN CRABS (DECAPODA BRACHYURA) BY R. G. HARTNOLL Marine Biological Station, Port Erin, Isle of Man, U.K. During a study of the burrowing crab Corystes cassivelaltntts (Pennant) marked differences were observed in the pattern of relative growth of the three secondary sexual characters examined - the chelae, abdomen and first pleopods (Hartnoll, 1972). There were differences in growth between the organs, and between the same organ not only in the two sexes, but also in the immature and mature phases of each sex. These variations in growth pattern appeared to be of adaptive significance, for the resultant changes in proportion were evidently beneficial. This paper comprises a survey of the relative growth of these three organs in other species of the Brachyura in order to see if the growth patterns seen in Cory.rte.r are phenomena of widespread occurrence, and thus whether the con- clusions as to their adaptive value are of more general interest. Some explanation is in order regarding the form of the data assembled in table 1. The growth of the variables in question is virtually always a close approximation to the allometric growth equation, y =
Crustaceana – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1974
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