ISSN 1062-3604, Russian Journal of Developmental Biology, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 52–58. © Pleiades Publishing, Inc., 2008.
Original Russian Text © M.V. Kalinina, N.A. Vinnikova, E.G. Semen’kova, 2008, published in Ontogenez, 2008, Vol. 39, No. 1, pp. 58–65.
Japanese mitten crab
1835) is a subtropical catadromous species widespread
in the rivers and estuary complexes in the northeastern
Paciﬁc Coast from the Japanese Islands to the Sakhalin
Island including the Maritime Territory (Vinogradov,
1950; Labai, 1999). However, the studies on the repro-
ductive biology of this species were largely carried out
on animals living in Japan (Kobayashi and Matsuura,
1995a, 1995b, 2003; Kobayashi, 1999). The reproduc-
tion of Japanese mitten crab in the rivers and estuary
complexes of the Maritime Territory has not been
described. Regular color changes in the developing
ovaries of this species were reported; however, no
detailed color table for the gonad maturity stages was
available (Hu Ziqiang and Hu Yunjin, 1997; Gu Zhimin
and He Lingang, 1997; Kobayashi, 2003).
The goal of this work was to study the process of
gonad maturation in female
rivers of the Maritime Territory and to evaluate color
characteristics of the ovaries at different stages of matu-
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Mature and juvenile females of Japanese mitten
crab were collected in the rivers of the Maritime Terri-
tory in summer and autumn 2004–2005. Sex was iden-
tiﬁed by the abdomen shape. The females were divided
into juvenile and mature by the abdominal morphology:
juveniles have triangular abdomen, while mature
females have round abdomen (Kobayashi and Mats-
uura, 1992). The gonad color was identiﬁed visually
using the following color table: light yellow (sandy),
yellow, beige, light purple, light brown, dark purple,
brown (chocolate), and dark brown (brown) (Kalinina
and Semenkova, 2005).
Gonad fragments (
mm) were ﬁxed in 96% eth-
anol and embedded in parafﬁn using the standard tech-
nique (Romeis, 1948). Sections 5–7
m in thickness
were stained with Ehrlich’s hematoxylin and eosin
(Labotekh, Russia). Samples were examined and ana-
lyzed under a Laboval 4 microscope and photographed
using a digital camera (Olympus, Japan).
The stages of ovarian maturity were identiﬁed using
the system proposed by Kobayashi (2003), which
included six stages in
distinguished by the
degree of development of the major (modal) group of
oocytes: stage I, proliferation of oogonia and chromo-
somal rearrangements in oocytes; stage II, small growth
of oocytes (previtellogenesis); stage III, onset of tro-
phoplasmic growth (primary vitellogenesis); stage IV,
active trophoplasmic growth (secondary vitellogene-
sis); stage V, prespawning; stage VI, postspawning.
The oocyte diameter was determined using the
Scion Image 01 software. Color characteristics of the
gonads were evaluated visually using the Munsell Book
of Color (1976).
In total, 102 Japanese mitten crabs were analyzed.
Gonadogenesis and Color Characteristics of Ovaries
in Japanese Mitten Crab
M. V. Kalinina
, N. A. Vinnikova
, and E. G. Semen’kova
Paciﬁc Fisheries Research Center, tup. Shevchenko 4, Vladivostok, 690950 Russia
Far Eastern National University, ul. Sukhanova 8, Vladivostok, 690950 Russia
Received May 22, 2006; in ﬁnal form, July 18, 2007
—The gonadogenesis was studied in adult and juvenile females of Japanese mitten crab
(Crustacea: Decapoda, Grapsida) inhabiting the rivers of the Maritime Territory. The morphometric
parameters of oocytes at different stages of maturity were determined using the methods of computer morphom-
etry and color characteristics were evaluated using the Munsell Book of Color. As a result, a color table was
compiled for the ovaries from the beginning of development to gonad maturity, which included light yellow
(sandy), yellow, beige, light purple, light brown, dark purple, brown (chocolate), and dark brown (brown). The
regular changes in the ovary color of
proved to closely correlate with the gonadogenesis, namely,
with the composition of cells at each stage of gonad maturity.
: maturity, ovary, oocyte, cytoplasmic and trophoplasmic growth, color characteristics of gonad.