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Zoologia (Curitiba)

Print version ISSN 1984-4670


DALOSTO, Marcelo M. et al. Population biology of Aegla platensis (Decapoda: Anomura: Aeglidae) in a tributary of the Uruguay River, state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Zoologia (Curitiba) [online]. 2014, vol.31, n.3, pp.215-222. ISSN 1984-4670.

Aeglids are freshwater anomurans that are endemic from southern South America. While their population biology at the species-level is relatively well understood, intraspecific variation within populations has been poorly investigated. Our goal was to investigate the population biology of Aegla platensis Schmitt, 1942 from the Uruguay River Basin, and compare our data with data from other populations. We estimated biometric data, sex ratio, population density and size-class frequencies, and frequencies of ovigerous females and juveniles, from the austral spring of 2007 until autumn 2008. Sexual dimorphism was present in adults, with males being larger than females. Furthermore, males and females were significantly larger than previously recorded for the species. The overall sex ratio was 1.33:1 (male:female), and population density ranged from 1.8 (spring) to 3.83 ind.m-² (winter). Data from this population differ from published information about A. platensis in almost all parameters quantified except for the reproductive period, which happens in the coldest months, and a population structure with two distinct cohorts. Difference among studies, however, may be in part due to methodological differences and should be further investigated in order to determine their cause. In addition to different methodologies, they may result from ecological plasticity or from the fact that the different populations actually correspond to more than one species.

Keywords : Aeglids; ecological plasticity; intraspecific variation; population density; sampling methods; sex ratio.

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