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Volume 44 - Number 2 - 2009


Limb regeneration in the paddle crab Ovalipes trimaculatus (de Han, 1833)(Crustacea, Brachyura, Portunidae), and its practical use in aquaculture and fishery

Javier Alvarez1 y Jaime Meruane1


1Departamento de Acuicultura, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar, Universidad Católica del Norte Casilla 117, Coquimbo, Chile




To discern the different development stages of limb regeneration and relate these stages to the nearness of ecdysis would be an easy tool to aquaculture and fishery, to distinguish in a functional way what animals are closest to moult. Six crabs caught in their natural environment and kept in laboratory were induced to autotomy of the left fourth pereiopod. A scale of 12 stages for limb regeneration was established from autotomy to ecdysis, and an index (R) was estimated to describe the longitude increase of the regenerated limbs. This index enabled us to have a quantitative indicator of closeness to ecdysis. Identifing the regeneration development stages and estimating the R index enable us to predict which crabs are closest to ecdysis. Both indicators are positively reinforced to be used easily in aquaculture and fishery, and they would help to implement both operative and management decisions to improve either survival or growth of animals during the moult


Key words: Moult, autotomy, crustaceans, ecdysis, limb



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