25 July 2019

Hossain and colleagues, 2019c

Hossain MS, Kouba A Buřič M. 2019. Morphometry, size at maturity, and fecundity of marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis). Zoologischer Anzeiger 281: 68-75. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcz.2019.06.005


Morphometric ratios, relationships and condition factors provide information regarding growth patterns, population dynamics and well-being of individuals in particular environments. Ecology of any species is then better understandable through life history traits and reproductive potential. The present study is aimed at exploring the morphometric and reproductive patterns of the parthenogenetic marbled crayfish, Procambarus virginalis. Marbled crayfish exhibited positive allometric growth and statistically significant common length-weight relationships. Abdomen width, claw length, width, and height increase significantly faster than the chosen most robust body size parameter, postorbital carapace length (POCL). Conversely, total length, carapace length, carapace width, and abdomen length grow proportionally slower than POCL. The condition factor was higher than the threshold value of ∼1 indicating the well-being of the crayfish used. Marbled crayfish, at their first reproduction, were recorded as long as 42.8 ± 10.8 (31.5–73.5) mm total length with a mean fecundity of 89.72 ± 56.9 (22–349) eggs. The relative fecundity (per 1 mm of POCL) of females reproducing for the first time was significantly lower compared to those reproducing repeatedly. Fecundity and relative fecundity exhibited a significant linear relationship with the carapace length and weight of mothers. As a tool for total fecundity estimation, the number of eggs on the third pair of pleopods was counted and plotted against size of mothers, and total fecundity. The number of eggs attached to the third pair of pleopods very closely correlates with the carapace length, weight and total fecundity. Based on our results, it can be concluded that abdomen width and claw growth is allometric compared to POCL which confirms the importance of these body parts. Fecundity parameters were confirmed to have a tight relationship to marbled crayfish size. Clutch size estimation can be used in future research based on the close correlation of egg counts on third pleopods and total fecundity.

Keywords: growth • reproduction • Procambarus virginalis • morphometry • fecundity

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