Elemental composition CHN, growth and exuvial loss in the larval stages of two semiterrestrial crabs, Sesarma curacaoense and Armases miersii Decapoda Grapsidae
Anger, K.; Schultze, K.
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A 111.4: 615-623
ISSN/ISBN: 1095-6433 DOI: 10.1016/0300-9629(95)00052-9
Larvae of two semiterrestrial crab species from Jamaica (Sesarma curacaoense and Armases miersii) were reared in the laboratory, and changes in dry weight (W), carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and hydrogen (H) were measured during development from hatching through metamorphosis. In A. miersii, larval growth was also followed in their natural environment, a supratidal rock pool. Both species show an abbreviated larval development, with only two zoeal stages in S. curacaoense and three in A. miersii. Unusually high initial C contents (c. 45% of W), together with a high C:N weight ratio (>5) in zoeae of both species indicate that high amounts of yolk reserves persist from the eggs. The zoeal stages, in particular those of S. curacaoense, show little growth compared with most marine crab larvae. This suggests that yolk reserves are partially utilized as an energy source during early larval development (partial lecithotrophy), and hence, the availability of external food sources should be less critical here than in planktotrophic marine crab larvae.