Spermatophore presence in relation to carapace length for eastern bering sea blue king crab paralithodes platypus brandt 1850 and red king crab paralithodes camtschatica tilesius 1815
Paul, J.M.; Paul, A.J.; Otto, R.S.; Macintosh, R.A.
Journal of Shellfish Research 10(1): 157-164
ISSN/ISBN: 0730-8000 Accession: 007812195
The size at which Bering Sea red (Paralithodes camtschaticus) and blue (P. platypus) king crab produced spermatophores was examined. Over 90% of male red king crab with carapace lengths (CL) of 90-99 and 70-79 mm from Bristol Bay and Norton Sound [Alaska, USA] populations respectively had spermatophores in their vas deferens. Blue king crab produced spermatophores at smaller sizes than red king crab. Over 90% of 60-69 mm CL male blue king crab from the Pribilof Islands and 50-59 mm CL males from the St. Matthew Island collections carried spermatophores. The spermatophores from males under 100-105 mm CL from Bristol Bay red king crab and St. Matthew Island blue king crab were smaller than those of larger specimens. As males grew from 55 to .apprxeq. 105 mm CL spermatophore diameter increased in a linear manner, but spermatophores from males 105 mm CL to the largest individuals had similar diameters. Based on the presence of spermatophores, male red and blue king crabs reach sexual maturity at smaller sizes than those based on chela morphometry. They also reach maturity at smaller sizes than females.