Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Temperature-induced oviposition in the brachyuran crab Cancer setosus along a latitudinal cline: Aquaria experiments and analysis of field-data

By Sönke Fischer and Sven Thatje


Ovigerous females of Cancer setosus are present year-round throughout most of its wide range along the Peruvian/Chilean Pacific coast (2°S–46°S). However, their number of egg-masses produced per year remains speculative and as such has neither been considered in latitudinal comparisons of reproduction, nor for its fisheries management. In order to reveal the effect of temperature on egg-mass production and egg development, female C. setosus were held in through-flow aquaria under natural seasonal temperature conditions (16–23 °C) in Antofagasta (23°S), Northern Chile (05/2005–03/2006; 10 months), and at three constant temperatures (12, 16, 19 °C) in Puerto Montt (41°S), Central Southern Chile (09/2006–02/2007; 5 months). Female crabs uniformly produced up to 3 viable egg-masses within 4 1/2 months in Antofagasta and in Puerto Montt (at 19 °C). The second egg-mass was observed 62.5 days (±7.6; N=7) after the oviposition of the first clutch and a third egg-mass followed 73.5 days (±12.5; N=11) later in Antofagasta (at 16–23 °C). Comparably, a second oviposition took place 64.4 days (±9.8, N=5) after the first clutch and a third, 67.0 days (±2.8, N=2), thereafter, at 19 °C in Puerto Montt. At the two lower temperatures (16 and 12 °C) in Puerto Montt a second egg-mass was extruded after 82.8 days (±28.9; N=4) and 137 days (N=1), respectively. The duration of eggdevelopment from oviposition until larval hatching decreased from 65 days at 12.5 °C to 22.7 days at the observed upper temperature threshold of 22 °C. Based on the derived relationship between temperature and the duration of egg-development (y=239.3175e? 0.107x; N=21, r2=0.83) and data on monthly percentages of ovigerous females from field studies, the annual number of egg-masses of C. setosus was calculated. This analysis revealed an annual output of about one egg-mass close to the species northern and southern distributional limits in Casma (9°S) and Ancud (43°S), respectively, while at Coquimbo (29°S) about two and in Concepción (36°S) more than 3 egg-masses are produced per year

Topics: QH301
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

Suggested articles


  1. (1991). A review of patterns and causes of crustacean brood mortality.
  2. (1988). An in vitro analysis of egg mortality in Cancer anthonyi: the role of symbionts and temperature.
  3. (1998). Analisis de la pesquería de jaiba en la X region: FIP-IT/96-35. Instituto de Fomento Pesquero,
  4. (1982). antennarius 12±2 49–56 Carroll
  5. (2002). Application of loop analysis to benthic systems in Northern Chile for the elaboration of sustainable management strategies.
  6. (1977). Aspects of the biology of the Jonah crab,
  7. (2002). Behaviour of female Dungeness crabs, Cancer magister, in a glacial Southeast Alaska estuary: homing, broodingsite fidelity, seasonal movements and habitat use.
  8. (1995). Biología reproductiva y crecimiento del “Cangrejo peluda” Cancer setosus MOLINA (Crustacea: Decapoda) en la Bahía de Guaynuna Casma (Peru), Deciembre
  9. (1976). Cancer setosus Molina en la Bahía de Mejillones del Sur (Crustacea,
  10. (2001). Climate change and temperature-dependent biogeography: oxygen limitation of thermal tolerance in animals.
  11. (2001). Comparative ecology of sympatric brachyuran crab species in the shallow subtidal of the Pacific Coast of North Chile and their importance for the artisanalfisheryinPuertoAldea.ZMTcontribution:12,ZMT,Bremen,pp.1–113.
  12. (1959). Comparative physiology: annual reproductive cycles of marine invertebrates.
  13. (2001). development of Southeastern Alaskan Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, under laboratory conditions.
  14. (2004). Diet and prey selection dynamics of Cancer polyodon in three different habitat types in Tongoy Bay,
  15. (1990). Dinamica poblacional de Cancer setosus Molina (Decapoda, Brachyura)enunsectordelaBahíalaHerradura,bajounimpactodeextraccion continua. Licenciatura. Universidad Católica del
  16. (2000). Distribution, population structure and feeding behaviour of the decapods Cancer polyodon and Cancer porteri in the Independencia
  17. (2003). Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, do not extrude eggs annually in Southeastern Alaska: an in situ study.
  18. (1980). Effects of Seawater Temperature on Spawning, Egg Development, Hatching Success and Population Fluctuations on the Dungeness crab, Cancer magister.
  19. (1991). Estimating egg production in multibrooding populations.
  20. (1981). Estudio biológico-pesquero preliminar de la jaiva peluda (C. setosus MOLINA, 1782) en Bahía Concepción (P.
  21. (1991). Fecundity and reproductive output in nine species of Cancer crabs(Crustacea,Brachyura,Cancridae).Can.J.Fish.Aquat.Sci.48,267–275.
  22. (1991). Fecundity and the reproductive potential of the yellow rock crab Cancer anthonyi.
  23. (1992). Feeding ecology of the crab Cancer polyodon in La Herradura Bay,
  24. (1989). Growth and reproductive dynamics of adult female Dungeness crabs (Cancer magister) in Northern California.
  25. (1974). Incubation in British decapod crustacea, and the effects of temperature on the rate and success of embryonic development.
  26. (1983). Laboratory cultivation of Dungeness crab, Cancer magister.
  27. (1987). Latitudinal variation in the Dungeness crab, Cancer magister: zoeal morphology explained by incubation temperature.
  28. (1966). Mating behaviour in the European edible crab (Cancer pagurus L.).
  29. (2007). North to Alaska: evidence for conveyorbelt transportof Dungenesscrab larvaealong theWestCoast of the United States and Canada.
  30. (1964). Observations on the reproductive cycles of the common Brachyura and Anomura of Puget Sound,
  31. (1987). on rock crab Cancerantennarius,yel lo w crab, C. anthonyi, and Kellet's whelk, Kelletia kellettii, in the vicinity of Little Cojo Bay, Santa Barbara County,
  32. (1999). Oxygen uptake of developing eggsof Cancer pagurus (Crustacea:Decapoda:Cancridae) andconsequent behaviour of the ovigerous females.
  33. (1992). Population dynamics of Cancer polyodon in La Herradura Bay,
  34. (1979). Predation by the nemertean Carcinonemertes errans on eggs of the Dungeness crab Cancer magister.
  35. (1959). Reports of the Lund University Chile expedition 1948–1949. The Crustacea Decapoda Brachyura of Chile.
  36. (1995). reproduction in female American lobsters (Homarus americanus).
  37. (1988). Reproductive cycle of the female Cancer setosus from the littoral of
  38. (1991). Reproductive ecology and fecundity of Cancer crabs.
  39. (1972). Some life history aspects of the rock crab, Cancer irroratus, in the Gulf of Maine.
  40. (2003). Spatio-temporal distribution patterns of the crab assemblage in the shallow subtidal of the North Chilean Pacific Coast.
  41. (2002). Structure, formation, mechanical properties, and disposal of the embryo attachment system of an estuarine crab, Sesarma haematocheir.
  42. (1943). Temperature and the world distribution of crabs of the genus Cancer.
  43. (2008). Thatje /
  44. (1982). The distribution and behaviour of ovigerous edible crab (Cancer pagurus) and consequent sampling bias.
  45. (1975). The genus Cancer (Crustacea: Brachyura): systematics,
  46. (1979). The genus Cancer and its distribution in space and time.
  47. (2004). The sperm plug is a reliable indicator of mating success in female Dungeness crabs, Cancer magister.
  48. (2002). Trophic models of four benthic communities in Tongoy Bay (Chile): comparative analysis and preliminary assessment of management strategies.
  49. (1994). Upper temperature tolerance of ten bivalve species of Peru and Chile related to El Niño.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.