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Distribution, abundance, and feeding of a disjunct population of lady crab in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada
Voutier, J.L.; Hanson, J.M. (2008). Distribution, abundance, and feeding of a disjunct population of lady crab in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, Canada. Aquat. Ecol. 42(1): 43-60. dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10452-007-9078-2
In: Aquatic Ecology. Springer: Dordrecht; London; Boston. ISSN 1386-2588, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Diets; Feeding; Seasonality; Ovalipes ocellatus (Herbst, 1799) [WoRMS]; Portunidae Rafinesque, 1815 [WoRMS]; ANW, Canada, St. Lawrence Gulf [Marine Regions]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Voutier, J.L.
  • Hanson, J.M.

Abstract
    The lady crab (Ovalipes ocellatus) is one of the most common native species of swimming crab (Portunidae) of the Atlantic Coast of North America but most populations occur south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. There is a disjunct population in Northumberland Strait (southern Gulf of St Lawrence), which was the focus of this study. Adult lady crabs were collected by trawling in water >4 m deep from May to October 1999 to 2005 to determine abundance, distribution, and diet. Lady crab occurred only in a small area (about 2,500 km2) in the central part of Northumberland Strait where bottom water temperature was >18°C during summer, and the substrate was mainly sand or sandy gravel. Male lady crab attained a maximum carapace width (CW) of 112 mm compared to 92 mm CW for females. The summer and autumn diet consisted mainly of infauna. The principal prey (each >5% of diet by weight) were: small bivalve molluscs (primarily Atlantic razor clam Siliqua costata and Macoma sp.; 43%), small rock crab (Cancer irroratus; 13%), polychaetes (11%), fish remains (9%), and small lady crab (9%). All stomachs collected during May (water temperature <10°C) were empty. There was little evidence of any difference in feeding intensity between 0700 h and 1900 h.

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