Marine & Environmental Sciences Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches, Lectures


Can Larvae Produced From Stored Sperm in the Ornamental Crab Mithraculus forceps Be Used in Aquaculture?

Event Name/Location

World Aquaculture, San Antonio, TX, February 26-March 2, 2007

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



In recent years, there has been an increasing demand for tropical marine ornamental decapods for the aquarium trade industry. In order to slow down the growing fishing pressure on such frail ecosystems as coral reefs, researchers have been evaluating alternative approaches, for example the development of a sustainable village based fishery in conjunction with aquaculture for the most traded species. In this study, we compared the survival and development of larvae from two consecutives batches of Mithraculus forceps, with the intent of studying the potential of second clutch larvae in the hatchery production of juveniles.

The clinging crab, Mithraculus forceps (A. Milne Edwards, 1875), has been demonstrated to be a good candidate for aquaculture. The present study tests the possibility of using the 2nd clutch produced from wild captured ovigerous females for larval rearing. Although larvae of the 2nd clutch took slightly more time to metamorphose to crab, survivorship to newly settled juveniles (13 days post hatching - DPH) was not significantly different between the 1st clutch (85.7and 2nd clutch (68.3). No differences were found in crab carapace length (1.32and 1.31mm for 1st and 2nd clutches, respectively) between the spawns, although the crabs from the 1st clutch were significantly wider than the ones from the 2nd clutch (1.14and 1.06mm, respectively). The high survivorship and fast larval development obtained in the 2nd clutch suggest that wild captured ovigerous M. forceps females can store sperm and should be maintained in captivity for multiple spawns.