, Volume 65, Issue 3, pp 263-273
Date: 10 Aug 2010

Biology of Grapsus grapsus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Brachyura, Grapsidae) in the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, Equatorial Atlantic Ocean

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Abstract

Eleven expeditions were undertaken to the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago to study the reproductive biology of Grapsus grapsus, providing additional information on limb mutilation and carapace colour. MATURE software was used to estimate morphological maturity, while gonadal analyses were conducted to estimate physiological maturity. The puberty moult took place at larger size in males (51.4 mm of carapace length) than in females (33.8 mm), while physiological maturity occurred at a similar size in males (38.4 mm) and in females (33.4 mm). Above 50 mm, the proportion of red males increased in the population, indicating that functional maturity is also related to colour pattern. Small habitat and high local population density contributed to the high rate of cannibalism. The low diversity of food items, absence of predators of large crabs and high geographic isolation are the determinants of unique behavioural and biological characteristics observed in the G. grapsus population.

Communicated by H.-D. Franke.