Zoological Studies

Vol. 38 No. 3, 1999

Moult-related Fluctuation in Ecdysteroid Titre and Spermatogenesis in the Crab, Metopograpsus messor (Brachyura: Decapoda)

Arundhathi Shyla Suganthi and Gopinathan Anilkumar*

Post Graduate Department of Zoology and Research Centre, Sree Narayana College, Cannanore 670007, Kerala, India

Arundhathi Shyla Suganthi and Gopinathan Anilkumar (1999) The present study examines the interrelation between growth and reproduction in males of the brachyuran crab, Metopograpsus messor. Moult stages were characterized through observing the setal development of the maxilliped epipodite. During intermoult, the testis of M. messor shows the presence of various spermatogenic stages (such as spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatids, and spermatozoa) in almost equal proportions. However, the onset of premoult (coupled with a significant rise in ecdysteroid titre) results in a significant increase in spermatogonial proliferation and refractoriness in sperm maturation. Our results also reveal that at least a low level of ecdysteroid is present during the intermoult stage, when spermatogenesis occurs normally.

Key words: Crustacea, Epipodite, Growth, Reproduction, Spermatozoa.

*Correspondence: -