Zoological Studies

Vol. 61, 2022

(update: 2022.4.12)

Populational Evidences Support Monogamy Mating System in Five Species of Snapping Shrimps of the Genus Alpheus (Caridea: Alpheidae)

Ana C. Costa-Souza1,*, José R.B. Souza1, and Alexandre O. Almeida1

1Federal University of Pernambuco (UFPE), Biosciences Center, Department of Zoology. Av. Professor Moraes Rêgo, 1235, Cidade Universitária. 50670-901 Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. *Correspondence: E-mail: accostabio@yahoo.com.br (Costa-Souza).
E-mail: joserbsouza@uol.com.br (Souza); aoalmeida.ufpe@gmail.com (Almeida)

Received 29 November 2020 / Accepted 29 November 2021
Communicated by Benny K.K. Chan

The objective of this study was to verify if populations of the snapping shrimps Alpheus angulosus, A. bouvieri, A. carlae, A. estuariensis and A. nuttingi from Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil, are monogamous based on population data. If these species are monogamous, then the populations must exhibit: 1) higher frequency of individuals living in pairs; 2) non-random population distribution, i.e., pairs are found more often than expected by chance alone; 3) males paired with females regardless of their reproductive condition; 4) sexual dimorphism regarding body size and chelipeds weaponry little pronounced among paired individuals and 5) size-assortative pairing. Our samplings were carried out in
August 2015, February and August 2016 and February 2017, in the intertidal zone, during low spring tides. We captured a total of 2,276 specimens: 300 of A. angulosus, 393 of A. bouvieri, 374 of A. carlae, 403 of A. nuttingi and 806 of A. estuariensis. The key population parameters (indicators 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 above) for the four species strongly suggest that all four undergo monogomous mating. Although our frequency distribution demonstrated a higher tendency to find solitary individuals in A. nuttingi and A. estuariensis, the other studied features agree with the occurrence of monogamy in those populations. Lastly, the sexual differences observed in the chelipeds and the existence of solitary egg-carrying females indicated that monogamy in the five species is not rigid, i.e., heterosexual pairing may not last long, due to possible competition between males for females or refuge.

Key words: Crustacea, Decapoda, Mating system, Populational structure, Intertidal.

Citation: Costa-Souza AC, Souza JRB, Almeida AO. 2022. Populational evidence supports a monogomous mating system in five species of snapping shrimps of the genus Alpheus (Caridea: Alpheidae). Zool Stud 61:1. doi:10.6620/ZS.2022.61-01.