Scientia Marina, Vol 73, No 3 (2009)

Fluctuations in the biochemical composition of the Patagonian stone crab Platyxanthus patagonicus A. Milne Edwards, 1879 (Platyxanthidae: Brachyura) throughout its reproductive cycle

Jimena B. Dima
National Technological University, Academic Unit Chubut, Argentina

National Patagonian Center, National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CENPAT-CONICET), Argentina

Norma A. De Vido
National Patagonian Center, National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CENPAT-CONICET), Argentina

Gustavo A. Leal
National Patagonian Center, National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CENPAT-CONICET), Argentina

Pedro J. Barón
National Technological University, Academic Unit Chubut, Argentina

National Patagonian Center, National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CENPAT-CONICET), Argentina


We analyzed the gonadosomatic (GSI) and hepatosomatic (HSI) indices, reproductive condition and biochemical composition of the digestive gland, gonads and claw muscle of the Patagonian stone crab over a one-year period. In females, the maximum HSI occurred in spring (gonad recovery period) and summer (maximum maturity period). The maximum female GSI values were found in summer, and fell to minimum values in fall and winter. In males, the highest GSI was observed during winter, which coincided with a non-mating period. The claw muscle biochemical composition did not significantly differ between seasons for either sex, except for the significantly lower glycogen content observed in winter relative to fall and summer in males. For both sexes, the claw muscle contained 72.4 to 81.2% moisture, 12.3 to 19.8% protein, 0.3 to 1.0% fat, 1.1 to 2.7% ash and 0.1 to 1.4% glycogen. In both sexes, the digestive gland was the main storage site for lipids. In the ovary, lipid and protein contents were higher in spring and summer, and decreased to significantly lower values after spawning. Moisture showed the opposite pattern and neither glycogen nor ash contents showed significant differences between seasons. The biochemical composition of the testes-vasa deferentia complex did not show significant seasonal fluctuations, except for higher moisture content in fall compared to summer and spring.


stone crab; biochemical composition; reproduction; gonadosomatic index; hepatosomatic index

Full Text:



Abugoch, L., J. Barrios and A. Guarda. – 1996. Composición química proximal y propiedades funcionales de la carne fresca de las pinzas del cangrejo Homalaspis plana. Arch. Lat. Nut., 46: 309-314.

AOAC. – 1980. Official methods of analyses of the association of analytical chemists (15th ed.). Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington DC.

Baltz, D.M. and J.W. Horst. – 1992. Depth and substrate selection, sex ratio, and size distribution in an unexploited stone crab (Menippe adina) population in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. In: T.M. Bert (ed.), Proc. symp. stone crab (genus Menippe) Biol. Fish., vol. 50. Marine Research Publication, Florida Department of Natural Resources: 74-81.

Boschi, E.E., M.I. Iorio and K. Fischbach. – 1992. Catálogo ilustrado de los crustáceos estomatópodos y decápodos marinos de Argentina. Frente Marít., 10: 7-94

Carsen, A.E., S. Kleinman and M. Scelzo. – 1996. Fecundity and relative growth of the crab Platyxanthus patagonicus (Brachyura: Platyxanthidae) in Patagonia, Argentina. J. Crust. Biol., 16: 748-753. doi:10.2307/1549193

Castille, F.L. and A.L. Lawrence. – 1989. Relationship between maturation and biochemical composition of the gonads and digestive glands of the shrimps Penaeus aztecus Ives and Penaeus setiferus (L.). J. Crust. Biol., 9: 202-211. doi:10.2307/1548500

Chauvet, C. and T. Kadiri-Jan. – 1999. Assessment of an unexploited population of coconut crabs, Birgus latro (Linne, 1767) on Taiaro Atoll (Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia). Coral Reefs, 18: 297-299. doi:10.1007/s003380050198

Chu, K.H. – 1999. Morphometric analysis and reproductive biology of the crab Charybdis affinis (Decapoda, Brachyura, Portunidae) from the Zhujiang Estuary, China. Crustac. Int. J. Crust. Res., 72: 647-658.

Cifuentes, A. and J. Quiñinao. – 2000. Composición y vida útil como producto cocido del cangrejo dorado (Chaceon chilensis) proveniente del archipiélago de Juan Fernández, Chile. Invest. Mar., 28: 195-202.

Connor, W.E. and D.S. Lin. – 1982. The effect of shellfish in the diet upon the plasma lipid levels in humans. Metabolism, 10: 1046-1051. doi:10.1016/0026-0495(82)90150-0

Connover, W.J. – 1999. Practical Nonparametric Statistics. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York.

Du Preez, H.H. and A. Mc Lachlan. – 1983. Seasonal changes in biochemical composition and energy content of the three-spot swimming crab Ovalipes punctatus (De Haan) (Crustacea: Brachyura). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 72: 189-198. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(83)90143-0

FAO. – 2008. Fishstat plus. Universal software for fisheries statistics time series. V 2.3. Capture production database 1950-2006.

Fraga, F. – 1956. Determinación de glucógeno en moluscos con el reactivo de Antrona. Invest. Pesq., 3: 69-74.

Galois, R.G. – 1984. Variations in tissue lipid composition during vitellogenesis in the prawn Penaeus indicus Milne Edwards. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 84: 155-166. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(84)90208-9

Gehring, W.R. – 1974. Maturational changes in the ovarian lipid spectrum of the pink shrimp Penaeus duorarum Burkenroad. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A, 49: 511-524. doi:10.1016/0300-9629(74)90563-5

Gökoðlu, N. and P. Yerlikaya. – 2003. Determination of proximate composition and mineral contents of blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) and swim crab (Portunus pelagicus) caught off the Gulf of Antalya. Food Chem., 80: 495-498. doi:10.1016/S0308-8146(02)00318-7

Haefner, P.A. and D.H. Spaargaren. – 1993. Interactions of ovary and hepatopancreas during the reproductive cycle of Crangon crangon (L.). I. Weight and volume relationships. J. Crust. Biol., 13: 523-531. doi:10.2307/1548792

Hasek, B.E. and D.L. Felder. – 2005. Biochemical composition of ovary, embryo, and hepatopancreas in the grapsoid crabs Armases cinereum and Sesarma nr. reticulatum (Crustacea, Decapoda). Comp. Biochem. Physiol. B, 140: 455-463. doi:10.1016/j.cbpc.2004.11.010

Hasek, B.E. and D.L. Felder. – 2006. Biochemical contents of the ovary and hepatopancreas of Uca longisignalis and Uca nr. minax. Sci. Mar., 70: 505-517.

Heath, J.R. and H. Barnes. – 1970. Some changes in biochemical composition with season and during the moulting cycle of the common shore crab, Carcinus maenas (L.). J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol., 5: 199-233. doi:10.1016/0022-0981(70)90001-8

Jeyalectumie, C. and T. Subramoniam. – 1991. Biochemistry of seminal secretions of the crab Scylla serrata with reference to sperm metabolism and storage in the female. Mol. Reprod. Dev., 30: 44-55. doi:10.1002/mrd.1080300107

King, I., M.T. Childs, C. Dorsett, J.G. Ostrander and E.R. Monsen. – 1990. Shellfish: proximate composition, minerals, fatty acid, and sterols. J. Am. Diet. Ass., 90: 677-685.

Küçükgülmez, A., M. Çelik, Y. Yanar, B. Ersoy and M. Çikrikçi. – 2006. Proximate composition and mineral contents of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) breast meat, claw meat and hepatopancreas. Int. J. Food Sci. Technol., 41: 1023-1026. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.2006.01159.x

Kyomo, J. – 1988. Analysis of the relationship between gonads and hepatopancreas in males and females of the crab Sesarma intermedia, with reference to resource use and reproduction. Mar. Biol., 97: 87-93. doi:10.1007/BF00391248

Leal, G.A., J.B. Dima, F.G. Dellatorre, and P.J. Barón – 2008. Schedule of reproductive events and maturity at size of the Patagonian stone crab Platyxanthus patagonicus (Brachyura, Platyxanthidae). J. Crust. Biol., 28: 262-269. doi:10.1651/0278-0372(2008)028[0262:SOREAM]2.0.CO;2

Leu, S., S.N. Jhaveri, P.A. Karakoltsidis and S.M. Constantinides. – 1981. Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus L.): seasonal variation in proximate composition and distribution of chemical nutrients. J. Food Sci., 46: 1635-1638. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2621.1981.tb04449.x

Lowry, O.H., N. J. Rosebrough, A.L. Farr and R.J. Randall. – 1951. Protein measurement with the Folin-Phenol reagents. J. Biol. Chem., 193: 265-275.

Melo, G.A.S. – 1990. A presença, na litoral sudeste brasileiro, de espécies de Brachyura (Crustacea: Decapoda) originárias das regiões biogeográficas Magelãnica e Argentina do Atlântico Sul. Atlântica, 12: 71-83.

Minagawa, M. – 1999. Quantitative analysis of the seasonality of male reproduction in the spiny lobster Panulirus japonicus (Decapoda: Palinuridae). J. Crust. Biol., 19: 276-282. doi:10.2307/1549234

Nakamura, I., T. Inada, M. Takeda and H. Hatanaka. – 1986. Important fishes trawled off Patagonia. Japan Marine Fishery Resource Research Center, Tokyo.

Read, G.H.L. and M.S. Caulton. – 1980. Changes in mass and chemical composition during the moult cycle and ovarian development in immature and mature Penaeus indicus Milne Edwards. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. A, 66: 431-437. doi:10.1016/0300-9629(80)90188-7

Restrepo, V.R. – 1992. A mortality model for a population in which harvested individuals do not necessarily die: The stone crab. Fish. Bull., 90: 412-416.

Sastry, A.N. – 1983. Ecological aspects of reproduction. In: F.J. Vernberg and W.B. Vernberg (eds.), The biology of crustacean: environmental adaptations, pp. 179-270. Academic Press Inc., New York.

Skonberg, D.I. and B.L. Perkins. – 2002. Nutrient composition of green crab (Carcinus maenas) leg meat and claw meat. Food Chem., 77: 401-404. doi:10.1016/S0308-8146(01)00364-8

Spaargaren, D.H. and P.A. Haefner. – 1994. Interactions of ovary and hepatopancreas during the reproductive cycle of Cangron cangron (L.), II: Biochemical relationships. J. Crust. Biol., 14: 6-19. doi:10.2307/1549050

Swiney, K.M. and T.C. Shirley. – 2001. Gonad development of southeastern Alaskan Dungeness crab, Cancer magister, under laboratory conditions. J. Crust. Biol., 21: 897-904. doi:10.1651/0278-0372(2001)021[0897:GDOSAD]2.0.CO;2

Wheaton, F. and T. Lawson. – 1985. Processing Aquatic Food Products. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Winberg, G.G. – 1971. Methods for the estimation of production of aquatic animals. Academic Press, London.

Copyright (c) 2009 Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Contact us

Technical support