, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 111-120

Reproductive biology of caridean decapods from the Weddell Sea

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Summary

Data on reproductive biology are presented for five benthic caridean shrimps from the high Antarctic (Chorismus antarcticus, Notocrangon antarcticus, Nematocarcinus lanceopes, Lebbeus antarcticus and Eualus kinzeri). The first three species were very common on the Weddell Sea shelf and upper slope, whereas only a few individuals of the other two species were caught-but these did include some ovigerous females. Our measurements include size at first maturity, fecundity (total number and mass of eggs), individual egg mass, egg length, ovary indices, maximum size encountered and documentation of the reproductive cycle in spring and summer. Egg number generally increases with female size, and the largest species (N. lanceopes) also carries the highest number of eggs. The eggs of all high Antarctic species are large, the extreme being L. antarcticus with an egg length of up to 3.3 mm. For C. antarcticus and N. antarcticus, which have wide geographic distributions, a comparison is made with older published and unpublished data from the Subantarctic (South Georgia). High Antarctic representatives of these two species grow to a larger maximum size, attain sexual maturity later in their life cycle, and produce fewer and larger eggs in relation to both carapace length and female mass, than their Subantarctic counterparts.

Data presented here were collected during the European Polarstern Study (EPOS) sponsored by the European Science Foundation