Relationship of claw form and exoskeleton condition to reproductive system size and methyl farnesoate in the male spider crab, libinia emarginata Academic Article uri icon


  • Summary Methyl farnesoate (MF) expression and reproductive system size were compared in five representative groups of male L. emarginata selected from a sample collected in November. The groups differed from each other with respect to carapace size (small, intermediate and large), relative propodus size (small and large claw forms), and condition of the exoskeleton (abraded and unabraded). Large males with large claws and abraded exoskeletons had reproductive system indices which were significantly larger than any other group. The mandibular organs of these crabs also had significantly higher rates of methyl farnesoate synthesis in vitro. Hemolymph titers of methyl farnesoate were also highest in this group, but were not significantly different from the group with small carapaces, small claws and unabraded exoskeletons. Methyl farnesoate titers were significantly lower in all other groups of unabraded animals with small or large claws. These results suggest that methyl farnesoate may play a role in morpho...

publication date

  • January 1, 1991