Scientia Marina, Vol 80, No 4 (2016)

Embryonic development of the southern surf crab Ovalipes trimaculatus (Decapoda: Brachyura: Portunoidea)

Antonela Martelli
Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CESIMAR-CONICET) - Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Argentina

Federico Tapella
Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CADIC – CONICET), Argentina

Ximena González-Pisani
Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CESIMAR-CONICET), Argentina

Fernando Dellatorre
Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CESIMAR-CONICET) - Sede Puerto Madryn - Facultad de Ciencias Naturales - Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco (FCN – UNPSJB), Argentina

Pedro J. Barón
Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos - Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CESIMAR-CONICET) - Sede Puerto Madryn - Facultad de Ciencias Naturales - Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco (FCN – UNPSJB), Argentina


The embryogenesis of Ovalipes trimaculatus, a member of the highly valued portunid swimming crabs, was studied under nearly constant temperature (13±1°C), salinity (33) and photoperiod (14 h light:10 h dark) conditions. A five-stage scale of embryonic development was defined for the species. Time required to complete development averaged 35.7±2.11 days, showing no significant differences between embryos located in inner, middle and outer portions of the egg mass. The egg chorion was rounded and showed the highest growth in diameter between stages I (morula-blastula-gastrula) and II (primordium of larval structure) and between stages III (appendage formation) and IV (eye formation). Results reported here provide a baseline for optimizing hatchery operations and useful information for management purposes.


crustacean; crabs, aquaculture; Ovalipes trimaculatus; embryology

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