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Population and reproductive characteristics of the hermit crab Pagurus proximus Komai, 2000 (Decapoda: Anomura: Paguridae) in the northern part of the species range

  • Elena S. Kornienko (a1), Nikolai I. Selin (a1) and Olga M. Korn (a1)
Abstract

The population and reproductive characteristics of the hermit crab Pagurus proximus Komai, 2000 have been examined in the northern part of the species range (Vostok Bay, Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan). The average population density was 4–5 ind m−2 in winter and spring, 10 ind m−2 in summer and autumn; the biomass was 7–9 and 18–19 g m−2, respectively. Hermit crabs were found at a depth of 0 to 12 m but were most numerous at about 3 m depth with an average population density of up to 26 ± 7 ind m−2. The shield length of males varied from 1.3 to 7.8 mm and females from 1.2 to 6.7 mm. The male to female ratio was close to 1 but varied with size and season. Females attained sexual maturity at a shield length of more than 1.3 mm. Ovigerous females were found from December to August. The proportion of ovigerous females increased from 7% in December to 93% in late April; however, the embryos in clutches remained at early developmental stage until May. The mass release of larvae was observed at the beginning of June. A subsequent spawning probably took place in July. The main factors contributing to the high abundance of P. proximus in the investigated area are the presence of the embryonic diapause synchronizing the release of larvae at the most favourable time for their development, high fecundity, the presence of at least two egg clutches during the reproductive season, and total absence of parasites.

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Corresponding author
Correspondence should be addressed to: E. S. Kornienko, A.V. Zhirmunsky Institute of Marine Biology, National Scientific Center of Marine Biology, Far Eastern Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok 690041, Russia email: kornielena@mail.ru
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Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
  • ISSN: 0025-3154
  • EISSN: 1469-7769
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