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Reproductive, growth and life-history contrasts between two species of grapsid crabs, Sesarma cinereum and S. reticulatum


Two grapsid crabs, Sesarma cinereum (Bosc) and S. reticulatum (Say), were studied in the region of Beaufort, North Carolina, USA, during the summers of 1977, 1983, and 1984. The two grapsid species showed differences in social organization, habitat preferences, and number and size of first-stage larvae. We analyzed several other characters (growth rates, size at sexual maturity, reproductive effort per clutch) to determine if these differences could be related to a coherent pattern of life-history trends. While some relationships between characters were consistent with those found among other crab species, few seemed peculiarly matched to the ecological contrasts represented by our species. Our results suggest that other factors (phyletic predisposition; decoupling of selection between larval and adult stages; equally adaptive alternatives) may obscure the “rules” governing relationships between life-history characters and evolutionary trends.

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Communicated by P. C. Schroeder, Pullman

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Seiple, W.H., Salmon, M. Reproductive, growth and life-history contrasts between two species of grapsid crabs, Sesarma cinereum and S. reticulatum . Mar. Biol. 94, 1–6 (1987).

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  • Growth Rate
  • Social Organization
  • Adult Stage
  • Sexual Maturity
  • Habitat Preference