Amended larval recruitment model for the Japanese spiny lobster Panulirus japonicus based on new larval records and population genetic data in Taiwan

  • Tin-Yam Chan
  • Chien-Hui Yang
  • Kaori WakabayashiEmail author
Original Article


The spiny lobster Panulirus japonicus (von Siebold, 1824) has a rather restricted distribution in the northwestern Pacific, ranging from Japan to Taiwan and southeastern China. It has been hypothesized that the Japanese populations of this species share a common pool of larvae for recruitment, and that these larvae are transported by the Kuroshio Subgyre. However, it remains unclear how the populations around western Taiwan and southeastern mainland China are maintained, as they are outside the Kuroshio Subgyre. In this work, a final-stage phyllosoma and a puerulus of this species were discovered for the first time in Taiwanese waters and off the southern coast. An extended genetic analysis of the Taiwanese and southeastern Chinese populations of P. japonicus showed that they all share a common gene pool. The larval recruitment hypothesis for P. japonicus was therefore modified by suggesting that its late-stage phyllosoma or puerulus may reach further south to southern Taiwan, with the branch of Kuroshio Current accounting for the larval recruitment of the populations around western Taiwan and southeastern China.


Population genetics Larval transport Phyllosoma Puerulus Kuroshio 



We sincerely thank N. Inoue of the National Research Institute of Fisheries and Engineering, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, Kamisu for supplying us with raw genetic data on the Japanese populations; X. Li of the Institute of Oceanology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao for allowing the second author to examine the spiny lobster collection at his institution, L. L. Chen of the National Taiwan Ocean University for providing us with samples of P. japonicus from Matsu, J. Y. Shy of the National Penghu University of Science and Technology for collecting P. japonicus samples from Penghu, L. Cai of Xiamen University for information on the distribution of spiny lobsters in Xiamen and southern China, C. C. Lin of the National Taiwan Ocean University for preparing some of the figures, and the journal editors and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. This work was supported by grants from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, R.O.C. and the Center of Excellence for the Oceans (National Taiwan Ocean University), which is financially supported by the The Featured Areas Research Center Program within the framework of the Higher Education Sprout Project of the Ministry of Education, Taiwan, R.O.C.


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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Marine Biology and Center of Excellence for the OceansNational Taiwan Ocean UniversityKeelungTaiwan, ROC
  2. 2.Graduate School of Biosphere ScienceHiroshima University, Higashi-HiroshimaHiroshimaJapan

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