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Patterns of haemolymph-flow variation in decapod crustaceans

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Abstract

Adult male Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, were trapped in the Barkley Sound region of Vancouver Island, British Columbia during June 1992 to August 1993. Heart rate and haemolymph flow through the five major arterial systems were recorded in resting undisturbed C. magister using a pulsed Doppler flowmeter. This technique allowed calculation of the stroke volume of the heart as well as cardiac output. The heart rate of 62 C. magister conformed to a normal distribution, whereas haemolymph flow through individual arteries was exponentially distributed. Stable haemolymph flow through all arterial systems was observed in only about 5% of the individuals tested; more often, haemolymph flow in one or more arteries fluctuated independently of flow through the remaining arteries. Several typical patterns of variation in cardiovascular parameters are described and related to possible underlying control mechanisms.

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Author information

Correspondence to I. J. McGaw.

Additional information

Communicated by M. Strathmann, Friday Harbor

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McGaw, I.J., Airriess, C.N. & McMahon, B.R. Patterns of haemolymph-flow variation in decapod crustaceans. Marine Biology 121, 53–60 (1994) doi:10.1007/BF00349473

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Keywords

  • Heart Rate
  • Normal Distribution
  • Cardiac Output
  • Stroke Volume
  • Control Mechanism