Scientia Marina, Vol 76, No 3 (2012)

Life history traits of the invasive estuarine shrimp Palaemon macrodactylus (Caridea: Palaemonidae) in a marine environment (Mar del Plata, Argentina)

María Guadalupe Vázquez
Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata , Argentina

Claudia C. Ba
Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata , Argentina

Eduardo D. Spivak
Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata , Argentina


The invasive oriental shrimp Palaemon macrodactylus has been extensively recorded around the world, mainly in estuarine zones. In this study, the life history of this species was studied in Mar del Plata harbour (Argentina), a fully marine area where a stable and dense population has been established. Growth, sex proportion, morphological relationships, size at maturity and reproductive cycle were analysed between March 2007 and March 2009. A total of 9 and 7 modal classes (M1-M9) were detected in the size frequency distributions of females and males, respectively. The modes of both sexes were the same until M4 but from M5 to M7 females were larger than males. The life span was about one year with a clear seasonal growth. Recruitment and reproductive periods were recorded from December to March and October to March, respectively. The total sex ratio was biased to females. Nevertheless, a clear predominance of males was observed in classes smaller than 5.25 mm carapace length (CL). Females reached maturity at a larger size in spring to early summer (October–January) than in late summer (February–March); the estimated sizes for 50% sexual maturity were 6.79 mm and 5.91 mm CL, respectively. The results showed great differences from a presumably native estuarine population (Japan), such as shorter life span, smaller maximum size and smaller size at maturity.


life history; growth; intraspecific variability; invasive species; Caridea; reproduction

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