Limb loss and regeneration in 2 crabs the king crab paralithodes camtschatica and the tanner crab chionoecetes bairdi
Acta Zoologica 53(1): 105-112
ISSN/ISBN: 0001-7272 DOI: 10.1111/j.1463-6395.1972.tb00577.x
The incidence of limb loss and regeneration in two species of benthic Crustacea, the king crab Paralithodes camtschatica, an anomuran, and the tanner crab Chionoecoetes bairdi, a brachyuran, is surveyed in populations from the Bering Sea. 29.4 % of young juvenile P. camtschatica and 14.8 % of adults had lost at least one limb. The overall incidence of limb loss in C. bairdi was 38.8 %, with female adults less prone to damage than males and juveniles. Limb loss increases in frequency in more posterior limbs. Right hand limbs are lost more often than left in both species. This "right handedness" appears to be widespread in crabs and may be due to the greater vulnerability of leading limbs. The frequency distribution of limb regenerate lengths in a population of young juveniles suggests that at least four instars must be passed before limb symmetry is restored.