Seasonal variation in the occurrence of planktonic larvae of sympatric hermit crabs.
Larval abundance variation of 4 sympatric hermit crabs were examined at 5 fixed stations over 18 months in Christmas Bay, Texas. Cibanarius vittatus (BOSC) was present in the plankton from April through Oct., Pagurus longicarpus from Sept. through May, and P. pollicaris from Dec. through Feb. Pagarus annulipes (stimpson) zoeae were the most frequently encountered zoeae and were found throughout the year but were most abundant in late spring and summer. Zoea I of P. annulipes and P. pollicaris were reliably distinguishable on the basis of their carapace lengths. Clibanarius zoea I were very abundant (3,149); 42 megalopa but no zoea II-V were found. Inadequate sampling and the short durations of these missing stages do not seem sufficient to explain their absence.