Fisheries Science

, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 1277–1282

Reproductive season and female maturity size of coconut crab Birgus latro on Hatoma Island, southern Japan

Article

Abstract

Information about reproductive season, size at sexual maturity and size-dependent reproductive potentials is important for efficient resource management. Such information is necessary to determine seasonal closures and minimum legal size limits. To conserve resources of coconut crab Birgus latro, which are in danger of extinction due to excessive exploitation, their reproductive season, female size at functional maturity and relationship between female size and reproductive potentials were investigated. The reproductive season started in early June and ended late August, and females with higher reproductive potentials showed a tendency to spawn early in the reproductive season. The prohibition of exploiting the resources during the reproductive season, especially early in the season, would be appropriate for sustainability of high reproductive outputs. Fifty percent of investigated females matured functionally at 24.5-mm thoracic length (TL). However, the size at which all females reached functional maturity was 32.3 mm TL, and there was a wide variation in the size of functional maturity among individuals. We must determine minimum legal size by taking the variation into account to allow all individuals to mate at least once before they are caught, which may prevent serious depression in reproductive rate and genetic diversity.

Key words

Birgus latro coconut crab functional maturity size minimum legal size limits reproductive potential reproductive season seasonal closure 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Chubb CF. Reproductive biology: issues for management. In: Phillips BF, Cobb JS, Kittaka J (eds). Spiny Lobster Management. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Melbourne. 1994; 181–212.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Goshima S, Kanazawa M, Yoshino K, Wada S. Maturity in male crab Hapalogaster dentata (Anomura: Lithodidae) and its application for fishery management. J. Crust. Biol. 2000; 20: 641–646.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lyons WG. Problems and perspectives regarding recruitment of spiny king lobsters, Panulirus argus, to the south Florida fishery. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 1986; 43: 2099–2106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Juinio MA. Some aspects of the reproduction of Panulirus penicillatus (Decapoda: Palinuridae). Bull. Mar. Sci. 1987; 41: 242–252.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bauer RT. Testing generalizations about latitudinal variation in reproduction and recruitment patterns with sicyoniid and caridean shrimp species. Invert. Reprod. Dev. 1992; 22: 193–202.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Henmi Y. Geographic variations in life-history traits of the intertidal ocypodid crab Macrophthalmus banzai. Oecologia 1993; 96: 324–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ashley JF. Growth and reproduction of the painted spiny lobster (Panulirus versicolor) on the Great Barrier Reef (Australia). Fish. Res. 2007; 85: 61–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Sato T, Ashidate, M, Wada S, Goshima S. Effects of male mating frequency and male size on ejaculate size and reproductive success of female spiny king crab, Paralithodes brevipes. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 2005; 296: 251–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sato T, Goshima S. Impacts of male-only fishing and sperm limitation in manipulated populations of an unfished crab, Hapalogaster dentata. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 2006; 313: 193–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Amesbury SS. Biological studies on the coconut crab (Birgus latro) in the Mariana Islands. Univ. Guam Tech. Rep. 1980; 17: 39.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wells SM, Pyle RM, Collins NM. Coconut or robber crab, 632. In: IUCN Invertebrate Red Data Book. IUCN, Gand, 1983.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Fletcher WJ. Coconut crabs. In: Wright A, Hill L (eds). Nearshore Marine Resources of the South Pacific, Institute of Pacific Studies. University of the South Pacific, FFA, and ICOD, Suva., 1993; 643–681.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Brown IW, Fielder DR. Project overview and Literature survey. In: Brown IW, Fielder DR (eds). The coconut crab: aspects of Birgus latro biology and ecology in Vanuatu. ACIAR Monograph 1991; 8: 1–11.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Fletcher WJ, Brown IW, Fielder DR. Growth of the coconut crabs Birgus latro in Vanuatu. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 1990; 127: 245–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Schiller CD, Fielder R, Brown IW, Obed A. Reproduction. early life-history and recruitment. In: Brown IW, Fielder DR (eds). The coconut crab: aspects of Birgus latro biology and ecology in Vanuatu. ACIAR Monograph 1991; 8: 13–35.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Lipcius RN. Size-dependent reproduction and molting in spiny lobsters and long-lived decapods. In: Crustacean Issues. Vol. 3. Factors in Adult Growth, Balkema Press, Rotterdam. 1985; 129–148.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Yoshino K, Goshima S, Nakao S. Temporal reproductive patterns within a breeding season of the hermit crab Pagurus filholi: effects of crab size and shell species. Mar. Biol. 2002; 141: 1069–1075.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sato T, Goshima S, Sperm allocation in response to a temporal gradient in female reproductive quality in the stone crab Hapalogaster dentata. Anim. Behav. 2007; 74: 903–910.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Sato T, Ashidate M, Jinbo T, Goshima S. Does male-only fishing influence reproductive success of female spiny king crab, Paralithodes brevipes? Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2007; 64: 735–742.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Begon M, Harper JL, Townsend CR. Ecology: Individuals Populations and Communities, 2nd edn. Blackwell Scientific Publications, London. 1990.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lancaster I. Reproduction and life history strategy of the hermit crab Pagurus brenhardus. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. UK 1990; 70: 129–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Briones P, Lozano E. Aspects of reproduction of Panulirus inflatus (Bouvier) and P. gracilis Streets (Decapoda, Palinuridae) from the Pacific coast of Mexico. J. Crust. Biol. 1992; 12: 41–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Donaldson WE, Donaldson WK. A review of the history and justification for size limits in Alaskan king, Tanner, and anow crab fisheries. Alaskan Department of Fish and Game, Division of Commercial Fisheries. Fish. Res. Bull. 92-02, Juneau. 1992; 21.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Myers RA, Mertz G. The limits of exploitation: a precautionary approach. Ecol. Appl. 1998; Suppl. 8: 165–169.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Paul JM, Paul AJ, Otto RS, Macintosh RA. Spermatophore presence in relation to carapace length for eastern Bering Sea blue king crab (Paralithodes platypus, Brandt, 1850) and red king crab (P. camtschaticus (Tilesius, 1815)). J. Shellfish Res. 1991; 10: 157–163.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Goñi R, Quetglas A, Renones O. Size at maturity, fecundity and reproductive potential of a protected population of the spiny lobster Palinurus elephas (Fabricius, 1787) from the western Mediterranean. Mar. Biol. 2003; 143: 583–592.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ishigaki Tropical Station, Seikai National Fisheries Research InstituteFisheries Research AgencyIshigaki, OkinawaJapan

Personalised recommendations