Marine Biology

, Volume 154, Issue 2, pp 287–294 | Cite as

Fecundity, brood loss and egg development through embryogenesis of Armases cinereum (Decapoda: Grapsidae)

  • Joana FigueiredoEmail author
  • Gil Penha-Lopes
  • Justin Anto
  • Luís Narciso
  • Junda Lin
Research Article


The present work is a comprehensive study of reproduction and embryonic development of Armases cinereum. Ovigerous A. cinereum (Bosc, 1802) females from Sebastian Inlet, Florida (9.88–19.4 mm CW) lay 2,000–12,000 eggs per brood, depending on their CW (mm): fecundity = 24.662 CW1.9432. A. cinereum displayed significant brood loss through development (ca. 500 eggs per brood) independently from their CW (no senescence). However, since smaller females lay fewer eggs than larger ones, the percentage of eggs lost during embryonic development is greater in smaller females. The number of eggs carried on a later stage of development (potential fertility = 5.5593 CW2.4417) is a more accurate estimate of the reproductive output and subsequent recruitment. Egg volume increased during development (64%, 0.025–0.041 mm3 or 0.36–0.43 mm of diameter, N = 270) and was strongly correlated with egg water content increase (19.21%, r = 0.89). Lipids, particularly fatty acids, seem to be the major energy source for embryonic development, decreasing 56.31 and 37.08% (respectively) during embryonic development; both are negatively correlated with egg volume (r = −0.90). The utilization of fatty acids through the different developmental stages of A. cinereum is presented. The most consumed fatty acids are the monounsatured (43.33 μg mg−1 dw), followed by the saturated (29.91 μg mg−1 dw) and polyunsaturated (24.03 μg mg−1). Palmitic (16:0) and linoleic (18:2n-6) acids are preferentially consumed (19.5 and 17.9 μg mg−1 dw, respectively). The high proportion of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids of C18 and C20 reflects the consumption of primary producers such as mangrove leaves. EPA/DHA ratio (2.85–3.84) and low DHA content indicated that this species appears in a medium-low level of the trophic chain. The low ratio of 18:1n-7/18:1n-9 and high percentage of 18:1n-9 (marker of carnivory) may be a sign of the consumption of juvenile invertebrates. The high percentage of odd-numbered FA indicated the occurrence of detritivores/scavenger behaviours. The fatty acid composition of the eggs reflects adult feeding ecology (omnivorous) and habitat.


Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acid Ovigerous Female Small Female Potential Fertility Major Energy Source 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank F. Faleiro, S. Brazão and P. Torres for their technical support and anonymous reviewers for constructive criticism. The authors would also like to thank Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (scholarship #SFRH/BD/17130/2004 and #SFRH/BD/25277/2005) and the Portuguese Government for providing financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joana Figueiredo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gil Penha-Lopes
    • 1
  • Justin Anto
    • 2
  • Luís Narciso
    • 1
  • Junda Lin
    • 2
  1. 1.Departamento de Biologia Animal, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de LisboaLaboratório Marítimo da GuiaCascaisPortugal
  2. 2.Florida Institute of TechnologyMelbourneUSA

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