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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

versão impressa ISSN 0001-3765


SIMITH, Darlan J.B.; DIELE, Karen  e  ABRUNHOSA, Fernando A.. Influence of natural settlement cues on the metamorphosis of fiddler crab megalopae, Uca vocator (Decapoda: Ocypodidae). An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2010, vol.82, n.2, pp.313-321. ISSN 0001-3765.

Megalopae of many decapod crab species accelerate their development time to metamorphosis (TTM) when exposed to natural physical and/or chemical cues characteristic of the parental habitat. In the present study, the influence of natural settlement cues on the moulting rates and development TTM in megalopae of the fiddler crab Uca vocator was investigated. The effects of mud from different habitats (including well-preserved and degraded-polluted mangrove habitats) and conspecific adult 'odours' (seawater conditioned with crabs) on the induction of metamorphosis were compared with filtered pure seawater (control). 95 to 100% of the megalopae successfully metamorphosed to first juvenile crab stage in all treatments, including the control. However, the development TTM differed significantly among treatments. Settlement cues significantly shortened development, while moulting was delayed in their absence. The fact that megalopae responded to metamorphosis-stimulating cues originating from both adult and non-adult benthic habitats demonstrates that settlement in this species may occur in a wider range of habitats within the mangrove ecosystem, including impacted areas.

Palavras-chave : conspecific 'odours'; fiddler crab; megalopa; metamorphosis; settlement; Uca vocator.

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