SEDAO 1:83-92 (2014)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/sedao00009

Symbiotic reproductive strategies of Austinixa aidae in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, Brazil: sexual maturity of females, fecundity and egg features

Douglas Fernando Peiró1,2, Emerson C. Mossolin3, Fernando L. Mantelatto1,*

1Laboratory of Bioecology and Crustacean Systematics (LBSC), Postgraduate Program in Comparative Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Philosophy, Science and Letters at Ribeirão Preto (FFCLRP), University of São Paulo, Av. Bandeirantes 3900, 14040-901, Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo, Brazil
2Laboratory of Aquatic Biology, Department of Biological Sciences and Health (DCBS), University of Araraquara (Uniara), Rua Carlos Gomes 1338, CEP 14801-340, Araraquara, São Paulo, Brazil
3Department of Biological Sciences of Federal University of Goiás (UFG), Regional Catalão, Av. Lamartine Pinto de Avelar 1120, CEP 75704-020, Catalão, Goiás, Brazil
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: A great variety of reproductive strategies have been observed among brachyurans. Most strategies aim to maximize offspring survival, maintain population stocks, and differentially increase parental genes. We hypothesized that reproductive strategies of a symbiont are not similar to other related but non-symbiotic brachyuran crabs. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the following parameters of the pea crab Austinixa aidae, symbiont to ghost shrimp Callichirus species, from the southeastern coast of Brazil: fecundity and its seasonal variation, egg size and volume, number of developing eggs, and the relationship between fecundity and crab size and weight. Reproductive parameters of A. aidae were strongly related to the mean size of individuals. Females reached sexual maturity at 5.1 mm carapace width, corroborating previous allometric research. A positive correlation between number of eggs with body size and weight was found. The reproductive period of this species was classified as seasonally continuous. Many early stage eggs were found in all reproductive periods, indicating high reproductive potential. Additionally, the proportion of early stage eggs found during the period of the study indicates a rapid embryonic development. The effects of latitude, environmental conditions, and host mesohabitat characteristics in combination influence reproduction in symbiotic species.


KEY WORDS: Brachyura · Callianassidae · Callichirus · Fitness · Pinnotherid · Pinnotheridae · Reproduction · Sandy beach


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Cite this article as: Peiró DF, Mossolin EC, Mantelatto FL (2014) Symbiotic reproductive strategies of Austinixa aidae in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, Brazil: sexual maturity of females, fecundity and egg features. Sex Early Dev Aquat Org 1:83-92. https://doi.org/10.3354/sedao00009

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