Sublethal Toxicity of Crude Oil Exposure in The Blue Crab, Callinectes sapidus, at Two Life History Stages


DOI: 10.1007/s00128-016-2000-7

Cite this article as:
Giltz, S.M. & Taylor, C.M. Bull Environ Contam Toxicol (2017) 98: 178. doi:10.1007/s00128-016-2000-7


The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill occurred during peak spawning season for many Gulf of Mexico fish and invertebrates. Early life stages of important fishery species were at risk to encounter crude oil. In this study, we investigated the effect of crude oil exposure on two life stages of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus). We tested the effects of oil exposure on the survival and growth of larval (pelagic) and juvenile (estuarine) blue crabs as well as the effects of oil on the molt frequency of juveniles. Larval crabs exposed to crude oil showed no discernable growth or mortality differences when compared to non-exposed controls. Juvenile crabs exposed to oil also showed no differences in size but exhibited increased intermolt duration (time between molts). Our study suggests that different life-stages may respond differently when exposed to crude oil and that oil exposure negatively affects growth rate of juvenile blue crabs.


Gulf of Mexico Blue crabs Deepwater Horizon Petroleum exposure 

Funding information

Funder NameGrant NumberFunding Note
Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative

    Copyright information

    © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

    Authors and Affiliations

    1. 1.Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyTulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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