Marine Biology

, Volume 144, Issue 2, pp 303–316 | Cite as

Reproductive biology of the common shrimp Crangon crangon (Decapoda: Crangonidae) in the central Irish Sea

Research Article


Aspects of the reproductive biology of the common shrimp Crangon crangon (L.) were studied in Port Erin Bay, Isle of Man, Irish Sea. Size at sexual maturity was determined from the proportions of ovigerous females and of females with maturing ovaries. The size at which 50% of females are mature is estimated (±95% confidence intervals) as 12.5±0.48 mm carapace length. Based on the proportions of ovigerous females and of mature females, the main breeding season was from January to June. Mean ovarian dry weights indicated two broods (winter and summer), with females bearing winter broods (WB) having higher gonad indices than those with summer broods (SB). WB females with non-eyed eggs and with eyed eggs differed in the regression of ovarian dry weight on carapace length, indicating preparation for laying a second brood. In both broods the moult stages of berried females were related to egg stage. Moulting will occur following the release of the brood. During embryonic development, mean egg length and egg volume were larger in all stages, and the mean dry weight of individual eggs of all stages heavier, in WB than in SB; there was no difference in egg number, however. Consequently, reproductive investment, the proportion of female weight devoted to egg production, was 67% higher in WB (0.20±0.04) than in SB (0.12±0.03). There is a significant effect of egg volume on brood weight, but not on egg number. In both broods, egg number was a negatively allometric function of female body size in non-eyed eggs and an isometric function of female body size in eyed eggs. Brood mortality during incubation was higher in SB (17%) than WB (10%). Differences in the reproductive variables and investment between the two broods of C. crangon are discussed in the light of reproductive strategies and life history.


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© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Port Erin Marine LaboratoryThe University of LiverpoolPort Erin IM9 6JABritish Isles
  2. 2.Department of Marine ResourcesMokpo National UniversityChonnamKorea

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