Settlement and early life history of Callinectes similis Williams in northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries


1995 1993 Nov 16


Perry HM
McTigue TA
Trigg CB
Warren J

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Juveniles and adults of the lesser blue crab, C. similis Williams, are widely distributed in high salinity areas of northern Gulf estuaries. There is a differential distribution by size with small crabs more prevalent in shallow nearshore waters and adults more numerous in deeper channels and waters near the offshore barrier islands. Ovigerous females occur year-round in open Gulf waters and are seasonally abundant in the lower estuary. Megalopae occur in plankton samples throughout the year, with peak abundance in the late winter/early spring. In contrast to C. sapidus, early crab stages are found in coastal plankton as well as in the estuarine benthos. Settlement of lesser blue crab megalopa on stationary collectors occurs primarily in the spring in Galveston Bay, TX. Peak settlement of juveniles follows high catches of megalopae. Megalopae did not occur on Mississippi collectors. Early crab stages occur in Mississippi Sound in all seasons; however, they were found on collectors only in October and November




abundance, ASW,Mexico Gulf, Benthos, Blue crab, Callinectes, Callinectes similis, Channels, crustacean larvae, Distribution, estuaries, Galveston Bay, Juveniles, Larval settlement, Life history, megalops, O 1030 Invertebrates, O 1070 Ecology/Community Studies, Plankton, Q1 01284 Reproduction and development, Q1 01423 Behaviour, recruitment, Salinity, seasonality, settling behavior, Springs, USA, water