The larval development of three crabs of the Varunidae family, (Hemigrapsus sanguineus, H. penicillatus, and H. longitarsis), widely spread in Russian waters of the Sea of Japan, were studied under laboratory conditions. At a temperature of 20–22°C and a salinity of 32‰ about 30% of larvae a complete developmental cycle, including five zoeal stages and megalopa, took from 22 to 30 days. All larval stages are illustrated and described in detail. Zoea I and zoea II of the studied crabs are not distinguishable. Zoea III–V of these species differ in the number of dorsomedial setae on the abdominal somite I and in the number of setae on the posterodorsal arch. The megalopae of three Hemigrapsus species possess a different number of segments, aesthetascs and setae on the antennular exopod. In spite of the great similarity of larvae of genera Hemigrapsus and Eriocheir, the latter possesses a number of distinctive features in all developmental stages, supporting the separation of these genera.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: May 25, 2008
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