Reproductive and population traits of the swimming crab Achelous spinimanus (Crustacea: Decapoda) in an upwelling region in southeastern Brazil
MetadataShow full item record
Abstract This study investigated the temporal abundance, periods of reproduction and recruitment, gonad sexual maturity, and population structure of the swimming crab Achelous spinimanus (Latreille, 1819) in Macaé, a region of the Brazilian coast affected by upwelling events. The samples were collected monthly during one year. The crabs were counted, sexed and measured for maximum carapace width (MCW). Four developmental stages were described in males and females. Environmental variables as temperature, salinity, organic matter and Phi were measured. A Principal Components Analysis indicated that environmental variables were strongly correlated with seasons, affecting the abundance of this species, which was high during summer and autumn. The periods of reproduction and recruitment were also seasonal, with a peak of females with developed gonads and ovigerous females during autumn and immatures during summer and autumn. Males and females did not differ in size at gonad sexual maturity, estimated at 39.9 and 42.9 mm MCW, respectively. The environmental conditions in this upwelling region may have induced this population of A. spinimanus to show different characteristics and behaviors from other populations on the Brazilian coast, since alterations linked to the periods of reproduction and recruitment, as well as the population structure and distribution, may reveal different survival strategies of the species.