Marine Biology

, Volume 156, Issue 5, pp 1039–1048 | Cite as

Low-mitochondrial diversity and lack of structure in the velvet swimming crab Necora puber along the Galician coast

  • Graciela SoteloEmail author
  • David Posada
  • Paloma Morán
Original Paper


The velvet swimming crab Necora puber is a common species along the European Atlantic coasts. Due to its increasing commercial importance, many studies have been carried out to characterize its growth and reproduction, but no genetic assessment has ever been attempted at the population level. Here, we describe the genetic diversity and population structure of N. puber in northwestern Spain (Galicia), including additional samples from France, Portugal, and southern Spain. To do so, we analysed two mitochondrial fragments of the COI and 16S genes in 217 individuals collected from ten localities. Our results unveil low-genetic diversity and weak population structure along the studied range. A range expansion after the last glacial maximum, followed by ongoing gene flow, seems to be the most likely explanation for the observed genetic pattern.


Ambiguous Position Spider Crab Galician Coast Mitochondrial Fragment Minimum Landing Size 
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 are grateful to Jose Cuesta, Aitor Freire, Xurxo Gago, Daniel Latrouite and Antonina Santos for their help in obtaining samples, and to the Galician fishermen’s associations which kindly collected velvet crabs. We also thank Aida Ovejero for providing coastline distances, and Pilar Alvariño and Nieves Santamaría for lab assistance. Special thanks go to Rui Faria for helpful comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This work was funded by a grant from the Xunta de Galicia (PGIDIT05RMA31001PR). Graciela Sotelo was supported by a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Xunta de Galicia. The experiments performed comply with the current laws.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Bioquímica, Genética e Inmunología, Facultad de Biología, Campus Lagoas-MarcosendeUniversidad de VigoVigoSpain

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