MEPS 183:295-300 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/meps183295

Timing of larval release in the mole crab Emerita talpoida

Mark Amend1, Alan Shanks2,*

1Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, 2040 SE Marine Science Dr, Newport, Oregon 97365, USA
2Oregon Inst. of Marine Biology, PO Box 5389, Charleston, Oregon 97420, USA
*Addressee for correspondence. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: The timing of larval release by the mole crab Emerita talpoida was followed for more than 2 mo at a beach near Duck, North Carolina, USA. The time series of the frequency of females carrying gray-stage eggs (i.e. fully developed eggs) was compared statistically to the time series of along- and cross-shore wind stress, salinity, water temperature, tidal range, and average significant wave height. The coastal oceanography was dominated by the wind. Winds from the northeast caused downwelling events and large waves in the surf zone while winds from the southwest caused upwelling and small surf. Drops in the frequency of females with gray-stage eggs (an indication of larval release) tended to occur a day after large wave events (cross-correlation, r = -0.304, lag = -1 d, p < 0.05, n = 53). Large wave events cause rapid flushing of the water in the surf zone. Larvae released during large wave events would experience a short residence time in the surf zone that may decrease mortality due to benthic and surf zone predators.


KEY WORDS: Hatching · Spawning · Hatching cues · Mole crabs · Emerita talpoida · Zoea


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