Reproductive biology and moulting cycle of the crab Callinectes ornatus (Decapoda, Portunidae) from the Ubatuba region, Sao Paulo, Brazil
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To investigate the reproductive biology of Callinectes ornatus gonadal and moulting cycles were studied over two consecutive years in the Ubatuba region. Six stages of gonadal development were detected in females and four in males. Observations on the number of ovigerous females, on the moulting stages of males and females, and on the percentage of individuals exhibiting mature gonads reveal a continuous reproductive cycle, the stages of which progress at different rates. These data support the hypothesis that C. ornatus shows staggered spawning, with possibly more than one annual reproductive period. A pause in growth before the terminal moult may occur in this species.