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Reversal of handedness, growth, and claw stridulatory patterns in the stone crab Menippe mercenaria (Say) (Crustacea: Xanthidae)
Simonson, J.L. (1985). Reversal of handedness, growth, and claw stridulatory patterns in the stone crab Menippe mercenaria (Say) (Crustacea: Xanthidae). J. Crust. Biol. 5(2): 281-293
In: Journal of Crustacean Biology. Crustacean Society: Washington. ISSN 0278-0372, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Animal appendages; Growth; Regeneration; Crustacea [WoRMS]; Menippe mercenaria (Say, 1818) [WoRMS]; Xanthidae MacLeay, 1838 [WoRMS]; Marine

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  • Simonson, J.L.

Abstract
    All 103 stone crabs reared from eggs of one left-handed and two right-handed female crabs were initially right-handed (side bearing crusher claw), but 88% of laboratory-reared juveniles whose crushers were removed reversed handedness on the first regenerative molt. Eight of 12 (67%) feral adult or pre-adult crabs reversed handedness on third on fourth molt following crusher loss, but only 5% (1 of 19) and 6% (1 of 16) reversed on the first and second molts, respectively. Reversal of handedness following claw loss by young juveniles is the most likely cause of the change from 100% initial right-handedness to 80% among older juveniles and sublegal (carapace width < 80 mm) adults in natural populations. The ratio is not altered in fished populations, probably because natural death occurs before most legal crabs can complete the number of molts (3 or more) required for adult claw reversal.

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