Zoological Studies

Vol. 61, 2022

(update: 2022.11.16)

Special issue: Systematics and Biogeography of Fiddler Crabs (articles 64–71). Editors: Hsi-Te Shih and Benny K. K. Chan

Larval Development of the Mangrove Fiddler Crab Austruca albimana (Kossmann, 1877) (Crustacea: Brachyura: Ocypodidae) Under Laboratory Conditions

Austin A.J. Kumar1,* and Ali M. Al-Aidaroos1,*

1Department of Marine Biology, Faculty of Marine Science, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia. *Correspondence: E-mail: aaustin@kau.edu.sa or anandjey@hotmail.com (Kumar); aaidaroos@kau.edu.sa (Al-Aidaroos)

Received 31 December 2021 / Accepted 16 July 2022
Communicated by Hsi-Te Shih

Larvae of the mangrove fiddler crab Austruca albimana (Kossmann, 1877), hatched from an ovigerous female collected from the mangroves of Sumariat, Jazan Province, Saudi Arabia in the southern Red Sea, were reared in the laboratory. Four zoeal and a megalopal stages were recorded, and their morphological features are described herein for the first time. The setations of the cephalothoracic appendages of the
zoeas of A. albimana and their congeners exhibit several variations that help differentiate larvae of this genus easily from other meroplankton. However, a character of phylogenetic significance – minute spines on the forks of the telson of pleon – is common to larvae of this genus. These minute spines were studied with the aid of scanning electron microscope images. There were five common morphological features between A. albimana and other fiddler crab megalope, including Minuca burgersi, Leptuca uruguayensis and Leptuca thayeri. These features were a deflexed front, rounded to obtuse frontal margin, seven-segmented antennal flagellum, unsegmented endopod of maxilla and three cincinnuli on the endopods of pleopods. Two zoeal morphological features described in this study and other studies (i.e., the absence of lateral spines on carapace [vs. their presence in species of Uca, Afruca and Ocypode in the Ocypodinae] and the presence of a maximum of four pairs of inner setae on the telson of pleon [vs. presence of more than four pairs of setae in species of Uca, Afruca and Ocypode]) support the taxonomic amendment of transferring Uca spp. and Afruca spp. crabs from Gelasiminae to Ocypodinae.

Key words: Fiddler crabs, Gelasiminae, megalopa, Ocypodinae, Red Sea, Zoea.

Citation: Kumar AAJ, Al-Aidaroos AM. 2022. Larval development of the mangrove fiddler crab Austruca albimana (Kossmann, 1877) (Crustacea: Brachyura: Ocypodidae) under laboratory conditions. Zool Stud 61:70. doi:10.6620/ZS.2022.61-70.