Aquatic Ecology

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 305–313 | Cite as

Population Biology and Breeding Period of the Sand-Bubbler Crab Dotilla Fenestrata (Brachyura: Ocypodidae) from Southern Mozambique

  • Carlos Litulo
  • Yolanda Mahanjane
  • Fernando L.M. Mantelatto
Article

Abstract

The sand-bubbler crab Dotilla fenestrata (Hilgendorf, 1869) is the most common and abundant brachyuran in the intertidal area of many East African sandy shores. Monthly sampling surveys were performed from March 2001 to February 2002 at Praia do Triunfo, Southern Mozambique. At each sampling survey, 15 stations (0.25 m2) were sampled to a depth sediment of 30 cm. Crabs were identified, sexed, and measured for carapace width (mm). A total of 2456 crabs were collected of which 1247 were males (mean ± sd: 5.36 ± 0.04 mm), 938 non-ovigerous females (5.03 ± 0.03 mm) and 271 ovigerous females (5.15 ± 0.06 mm). The overall size frequency distribution showed a unimodal pattern suggesting a stable population with continuous recruitment. A clear sexual dimorphism was observed, with males being larger than ovigerous females, which in turn, were larger than non-ovigerous females. The overall sex ratio did not differ from 1:1. The annual reproductive cycle of Dotilla fenestrata was continuous and ovigerous females were recorded throughout the year, with peaks of occurrence during the warmer months (February–August). Despite of this continuous cycle, few juveniles were observed during the study period. These observations and the maximum size attained by adults supports the hypothesis that for this burrowing crab, recruitment may occur in different habitat than that occupied by adults. However, the studied area is favourable for growth, since the analysed population attains sexual maturity in smaller sizes than that from close areas.

Keywords

Dotilla fenestrata Juvenile recruitment Mozambique Ocypodid crabs Population biology Reproduction Sandy shores Sex ratio 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Afonso, A. 1995Estudo de alguns aspectos eco-etológicos do caranguejo Dotilla fenestrata na Praia do TriunfoMaputoUndergraduation MonographDepartamento de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Eduardo MondlaneMozambique56Google Scholar
  2. Alberto, M.F., Fontoura, N.F. 1999Distribuição e estrutura etária de Ocypode quadrata (Fabricius, 1787) em praia arenosa do littoral sul do Brasil (CrustaceaDecapodaOcypodidae)Rev. Bras. Biol.5995108CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bradshaw, C., Scoffin, T.P. 1999Factors limiting distribution and activity patterns of the soldier crab Dotilla myctiroides in Phuketsouth ThailandMar. Biol.1358387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Christy, J.H., Salmon, M. 1984Ecology and evolution of mating systems of fiddler crabs (Genus Uca)Biol. Rev.59483509CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Colby, D.R., Fonseca, M.S. 1984Population dynamics, spatial dispersion and somatic growth of the sand fiddler crab Uca pugilatorMar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.16269279Google Scholar
  6. Diaz, H., Conde, J.E. 1989Population dynamics and life history of the mangrove crab Aratus pisonii (BrachyuraGrapsidae) in a marine environmentBull. Mar. Sci.45148163Google Scholar
  7. Dray, T., Paula, J. 1998Ecological aspects of the populations of the crab Dotilla fenestrata (Hilgendorf, 1869) (BrachyuraOcypodidae), in the tidal flats of Inhaca Island (Mozambique)J. Nat. Hist.3215251534Google Scholar
  8. Flores, A.A.V., Paula, J. 2002Sexual maturity, larval release and reproductive output of two brachyuran crabs from a rocky intertidal in central PortugalInvert. Reprod. Develop.412134Google Scholar
  9. Fransozo, A., Mantelatto, F.L.M. 1998Population structure and reproductive period of the tropical hermit crab Calcinus tibicen (DecapodaDiogenidae) in the Ubatuba Region, São PauloBrazilJ. Crust. Biol.18738745Google Scholar
  10. Fransozo, A., Bertini, G., Correa, M.O.D. 1999Population biology and habitat utilization of the stone crab Menipe nodifroms in the Ubatuba region, São PauloBrazilCrust. Issues12275281Google Scholar
  11. Fransozo, A., Garcia, R.B., Mantelatto, F.L.M. 2003Morphometry and sexual maturity of the tropical hermit crab Calcinus tibicen (CrustaceaAnomura) from BrazilJ. Nat. Hist.37297304Google Scholar
  12. Gherardi, F., Russo, S., Anyona, D. 1999Burrow-orientated activity in the ocypodid crabDotilla fenestrataliving in a mangrove swampJ. Mar. Biol. Ass. UK79281293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gherardi, F., Russo, S., Lazzara, L. 2002The function of wandering in the sand-bubbler crabDotilla fenestrataJ. Crust. Biol.22521531Google Scholar
  14. Hartnoll, R.G. 1973Factors affecting the distribution and behaviour of the crab Dotilla fenestrata on East African shoresEstuar. Coast. Mar. Sci.13752CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hartnoll, R.G., Cannicci, S., Emmerson, W.D., Fratini, S., Macia, A., Mgaya, Y., Porri, F., Ruwa, R.K., Shunnula, J.P., Skov, M.W., Vannini, M. 2002Geographic trends in mangrove crab abundance in East AfricaWetl. Ecol. Manag.10203213CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Henmi, Y. 2000Comparisons of life history traits among populations of the ocypodid crab Macrophthalmus japonicus in habitats with contrasting food availabilityCrust. Res.29109120Google Scholar
  17. Koga, T., Murai, M., Poovachiranon, S. 2000Underground mating in the fiddler crab Uca tetragonon: the association between female life history traits and male mating tacticsJ. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol.2483552CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Leme, M.H.A., Negreiros-Fransozo, M.L. 1998Reproductive patterns of Aratus pisonii (Decapoda: Grapsidae) from an estuarine area of São Paulo Northern CoastBrazilRev. Biol. Trop.46673678Google Scholar
  19. Litulo, C. 2004Reproductive aspects of a tropical population of the fiddler crab Uca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) (Brachyura: Ocypodidae) at Costa do Sol mangroveMaputo Bay, Southern MozambiqueHydrobiologia525167173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lopez Greco, L.S., Hernández, J.E., Bolanos, J., Rodriguez, E.M., Rodriguez, J. 2000Population features of Mycrophrys bicornutus Latreille1825 (Brachyura: Majidae) from Isla MargaritaVenezuelaHydrobiologia439151159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Macia, A., Quincardete, I., Paula, J. 2001A comparison of alternative methods for estimating population density of the fiddler crab Uca annulipes at Saco mangroveInhaca Island (Mozambique)Hydrobiologia449213219CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Mantelatto, F.L.M., Fransozo, A. 1999Reproductive biology and moulting cycle of the crab Callinectes ornatus (CrustaceaPortunidae) in the Ubatuba Region, São PauloBrazilCrustaceana726376Google Scholar
  23. Mantelatto, F.L.M., Sousa, L.M. 2000Population biology of the hermit crab Paguristes tortugae Schmitt1933 (AnomuraDiogenidae) from Anchieta IslandUbatubaBrazilNauplius8185193Google Scholar
  24. Mantelatto, F.L.M., Garcia, R.B. 2001Biological aspects of the nonindigenous portunid crab Charybdis hellerii in the western tropical south AtlanticBull. Mar. Sci.68469477Google Scholar
  25. Morgan, S.G., Christy, J.H. 1995Adaptive significance of timing of larval release by crabsAm. Nat.145437479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Moura, N.F.O., Coelho-Filho, P.A., Coelho, P.A. 2000Population structure of Goniopsis cruentata (Latreille1803) in the Paripe estuary, BrazilNauplius87378Google Scholar
  27. Negreiros-Fransozo, M.L., Fransozo, A., Bertini, G. 2002Reproductive cycle and recruitment period of Ocypode quadrata (DecapodaOcypodidae) at a sandy beach in Southeastern BrazilJ. Crus. Biol.22157161Google Scholar
  28. Ólafsson, E., Ndaro, S.G.M. 1997Impact of the mangrove crabs Uca annulipesDotilla fenestrata on meiobenthosMar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.158225231Google Scholar
  29. Papadopoulos, I., Wooldridge, T., Newman, B.K. 2002Larval life history strategies of sub-tropical Southern African estuarine brachyuran crabs and implications for tidal inlet managementWetl. Ecol. Manag.10249256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rodriguez, A., Drake, P., Arias, A.M. 1997Reproductive periods and larval abundance patterns of the crabs Panopeus africanusUca tangeri in a shallow inlet (SW Spain)Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser.149133142Google Scholar
  31. Sastry, A.N. 1983

    Ecological aspects of reproduction

    Vernberg, F.J.Vernberg, W.B. eds. The Biology of Crustacea. Vol. 8 Environmental AdaptationAcademic PressNew York179270
    Google Scholar
  32. Skov, M.W., Hartnoll, R.G. 2001Comparative suitability of binocular observation, burrow counting and excavation for the quantification of the mangrove fiddler crab Uca annulipes (H. Milne Edwards)Hydrobiologia449201212CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Spivak, E.D., Anger, K., Bas, C.C., Luppi, T., Ismael, D. 1996Size structuresex ratioand breeding season in two intertidal grapsid crab species from Mar Chiquita Lagoon, ArgentinaNeritica10726Google Scholar
  34. Thurman, C.L. 1985Reproductive biology and population structure of the fiddler crab Uca subcylindrica (Stimpson)Biol. Bull.169515229Google Scholar
  35. Trott, J.T. 1998On the sex ratio of the ghost crab Ocypode gaudichaudii H. Milne Edwards & Lucas, 1843 (Brachyura: Ocypodidae)Crustaceana714756Google Scholar
  36. Vannini, M., Valmori, P. 1981Researches on the coast of Somalia. The shore and the dune of Sar Uanle. 31. Ocypodidae and Gecarcinidae (Crustacea Brachyura)Monit. Zool. Ital.14199226Google Scholar
  37. Wada, S., Ashidate, M., Yoshino, K., Sato, T., Goshima, S. 2000Effects of sex ratio on egg extrusion frequency and mating behaviour of the spiny king crab Paralithodes brevipes (Decapoda: Lithodidae)J. Crus. Biol.20479482Google Scholar
  38. Wenner, A.M. 1972Sex ratio as a function of size in marine CrustaceaAm. Nat.106321350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zar, J.H. 1996Bioestatistical AnalysisPrentice HallUpper Saddle River930Google Scholar
  40. Zimmerman, T.L., Felder, D.L. 1991Reproductive ecology of an intertidal brachyuran crab Sesarma sp. (nr. Reticulatum), from the Gulf of MexicoBiol. Bull.181387401Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlos Litulo
    • 1
  • Yolanda Mahanjane
    • 1
  • Fernando L.M. Mantelatto
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Ciências Biológicas (DCB), Faculdade de Ciências (FC)Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM)MaputoMozambique
  2. 2.Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Filosofia, Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP)Universidade de São Paulo (USP)Ribeirão Preto Brazil

Personalised recommendations