Inter-Research > MEPS > v378 > p153-160  
MEPS
Marine Ecology Progress Series

via Mailchimp

MEPS 378:153-160 (2009)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07858

Reproductive aspects of two bythograeid crab species from hydrothermal vents in the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge

Ana Hilário1,2,*, Sara Vilar3, Marina R. Cunha1, Paul Tyler2

1CESAM, Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
2National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton, European Way, Southampton SO14 3ZH, UK
3Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal

ABSTRACT: Bythograea laubieri, B. vrijenhoeki and alvinellid polychaetes dominate the vent fauna of the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. We studied gonadal development in females of both crabs. They have ovary microstructures characteristic of brachyuran decapods. The ovaries are paired organs overlying the hepatopancreas beneath the carapace. Oogonia proliferate from the germinal epithelium and develop into previtellogenic oocytes that grow to 60 μm before undergoing vitellogenesis. The observed maximum sizes of mature oocytes were 209 μm in B. laubieri and 138 μm in B. vrijenhoeki. No ovigerous females were found in the samples, which agrees with the segregation behaviour of ovigerous females away from the direct influence of the active chimney in some related species. In contrast to other species of bythograeid crabs, the oocyte size-frequency data suggest that B. laubieri and B. vrijenhoeki lack synchrony in reproduction of the population as a whole. Synchrony and seasonality in reproduction of B. thermydron have been linked to the formation of phytoplankton blooms in surface waters. We suggest that the biogeography of bythograeid crabs is determined by contrasting oceanographic regimes that influence the reproductive patterns observed in different species.


KEY WORDS: Bythograeid crab · Gonad development · Hydrothermal vent · Pacific-Antarctic Ridge


Full text in pdf format 
Cite this article as: Hilário A, Vilar S, Cunha MR, Tyler P (2009) Reproductive aspects of two bythograeid crab species from hydrothermal vents in the Pacific-Antarctic Ridge. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 378:153-160. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps07858

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
Facebook - - linkedIn