Based on materials from plankton surveys carried out in 2004–2009, the period of occurrence, density, and distribution of larvae of three commercial species of crabs in the Peter the Great bay and adjacent areas of Sea of Japan were studied. The larvae of the horsehair crab Erimacrus isenbeckii (Brandt, 1848) occurred in the plankton from mid-March to early June, within the range of water temperature from −1 to 10.8°C. The larvae of the helmet crab Telmessus cheiragonus (Tilesius, 1812) appeared in the plankton in mid-April and occurred to the end of June within the temperature range from 2.8 to 13.0°C. The larvae of the snow crab Chionoecetes opilio (O. Fabricius, 1788) appeared in the plankton in mid-April as well, but some individuals sporadically occurred until early August. All the species of crabs produced one generation of larvae for their reproduction season. The terms of larval stay in plankton depended on water temperature and the duration of the pelagic period increased in colder years. In that area, the larvae of C. opilio were the most abundant (up to 41 ind./m3) and the zoea density of horsehair and helmet crabs was significantly lower (no more than 2 ind./m3). The larvae of C. opilio occurred over the entire area of the Peter the Great bay; the greatest aggregations of their early stages were observed in its southwestern open part. The maximum density of E. isenbeckii zoea was recorded in the south of the Amursky bay and in the Posyet bay. Individual larvae of T. cheiragonus occurred in the Posyet bay and in the southern part of the Amursky and Ussuriisky bays. The late-stage larvae of all crab species were concentrated in areas of the coastal circulation.
Russian Journal of Marine Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 16, 2012
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