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|Reproductive biology of the ghost shrimp Lepidophthalmus bocourti (A. Milne-Edwards, 1870) (Decapoda: Axiidea: Callianassidae): A tropical species with a seasonal reproduction|
|Hernáez, P.; Villegas-Jiménez, E.; Villalobos-Rojas, F.; Wehrtmann, I.S. (2012). Reproductive biology of the ghost shrimp Lepidophthalmus bocourti (A. Milne-Edwards, 1870) (Decapoda: Axiidea: Callianassidae): A tropical species with a seasonal reproduction. Mar. Biol. Res. 8(7): 635-643. dx.doi.org/10.1080/17451000.2011.653369|
|In: Marine Biology Research. Taylor & Francis: Oslo. ISSN 1745-1000, more|
Lepidophthalmus bocourti (A.Milne-Edwards, 1870) [WoRMS]; Marine
Egg production; Reproduction pattern; Tropical habitats
Based on the hypothesis that reproduction is a continuous process in tropical habitats, we analysed reproductive periodicity and egg production in the callianassid ghost shrimp Lepidophthalmus bocourti, one of the most common species in mangrove systems along the Pacific coast of Central America. During one year (May 2008 to April 2009), individuals of L. bocourti (N=499) were collected nearshore Gulf of Nicoya, Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Observations were made on presence or absence of incubated embryos, and gonad activity of females was analysed as gonadosomatic index (GSI). Our results revealed that L. bocourti has a marked seasonal breeding period, which contradicts previous reports regarding coastal marine decapods from the tropics. Ovigerous females were found only from June to August, while high GSI values were obtained from March to July. The increase of GSI and appearance of ovigerous females were associated with a concomitant decrease of salinity, but not with temperature. We assume that reproduction of L. bocourti is adapted to local changes of environmental conditions, and that a decrease in salinity during rainy season may serve as a triggering factor for ovarian development. Compared to other ghost shrimps, L. bocourti produced on average more (2002±1365) and smaller (0.87±0.109 mm) eggs, which seems to suggest that this species does not have an abbreviated larval development as reported for other species of genus. The deviation from the generalization of constant reproduction in the tropics for shallow water marine invertebrates and its probable cause are adequately discussed.