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Nauplius

On-line version ISSN 2358-2936

Nauplius vol.27  Botucatu  2019  Epub Sep 16, 2019

https://doi.org/10.1590/2358-2936e2019011 

Review

A compilation of longevity data in decapod crustaceans

1Faculty of Biosciences, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 234, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany


Abstract

Longevity information was collected from 219 literature sources for 244 decapod crustaceans, representing 1.7% of species, 4.8% of genera and 30% of families. Reliable methods of age determination (laboratory rearing, mark-recapture method, growth models, lipofuscin method) revealed longevities from 0.1 to 72 years, corresponding to a 700-fold difference between the shortest and longest lived species. The mean longevity of the species included in this article is 7.1 years (SD=10.18; CV=142.9%); 61.1% of the species live less than 5 years, 29.5% live between 5 and 20 years, and 9.4% live longer than 20 years. The basal Dendrobranchiata have a mean longevity of only 2.1 years whereas the Achelata have a mean longevity of 27.2 years. The oldest decapod aged with a direct method is a hermit crab that was reared in captivity for more than 42 years. The particularly long-lived species belong to different families of the infraorders Achelata, Astacidea, Anomura and Brachyura. Average longevity is highest in semiterrestrial and terrestrial habitats (13.0 years), followed by freshwater (7.2 years) and marine and brackish waters (6.0 years). The deep sea, polar waters, freshwater caves and terrestrial environments apparently promote the evolution of high life spans.

Keywords Decapoda; life span; environment; taxonomy; evolution

Introduction

Ageing and longevity in the Decapoda is still a neglected field of research. In 2012, I have published the first comprehensive review article on ageing and longevity in this ecologically and economically important animal group (Vogt, 2012). This paper summarized life span data, anti-ageing strategies and age related diseases and discussed the impacts of indeterminate growth and different environments on longevity. Since then, further review articles and book chapters with comprehensive ageing data have been published for freshwater decapods (Vogt, 2014), freshwater crayfish (McLay and van den Brink, 2016), brachyuran crabs (McLay, 2015), cave dwelling decapods (Venarsky et al., 2012), and crustaceans (Vogt, 2018). In the present article I have compiled and updated all reliable longevity data of decapods that I could find in original studies, review papers and species profiles provided by experienced carcinologists. In addition, I have compared longevities between the higher taxa of the Decapoda and between marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments.

Ageing techniques and their advantages and disadvantages

The longevity data compiled in this paper were obtained with different ageing techniques like growth models, the lipofuscin method, the mark and recapture method, and rearing in captivity. Growth models based on size-frequency and life history data were predominant. Sometimes, life spans were directly estimated from size-frequency and life history data without applying growth models. An alternative indirect ageing method was quantification of the age pigment lipofuscin. The direct methods applied were the mark-recapture method and rearing in captivity.

Rearing in captivity from hatching to death is the most exact ageing technique. However, life span data obtained with this approach are mainly available for relatively short-lived aquaculture, laboratory and pet species. This method underestimates longevity in the wild if the culture conditions are inadequate. On the other hand, it can considerably overestimate natural longevity because protection from adverse environmental conditions, predators and diseases can greatly expand life span. Thus, rearing under optimal conditions reflects the upper possible age limits of the species.

The mark and recapture method is presently the only direct ageing technique applied in the wild. In order to ensure life-long retention of the mark, the tags have to be placed underneath the cuticle. Otherwise, they are lost during moulting. There are several internal markers available for decapods, among them passive integrated transponders (microchips), coded microwire tags, visible implant alphanumeric tags and visible implant elastomeres (Hartnoll, 2001; Davis et al., 2004; Buřič et al., 2008). Further details on mark-recapture methods are found in Hartnoll (2001), Vogt (2012) and Kilada and Driscoll (2017). In practice, the mark-recapture method was mostly used to estimate growth increment per year, which was then used in growth models. There are only few cases where marked specimens were recaptured after more than a decade. For example, a Procambarus erythrops crayfish was recaptured in Sim’s Sink cave, Florida, 16 years after marking (Streever, 1996).

The most widespread ageing method used in wild populations is the analysis of length-frequency distributions and reproduction parameters, often combined with growth models. Size frequency analysis depends on the identification of modes in the distribution, which can be equated with recruitment cohorts or year classes. The raw data are first grouped into length groups and then converted to age groups. Growth models such as the von Bertalanffy equation help to estimate longevity from length frequency and life history data. Further details are found in Hartnoll (2001) and Jennings et al. (2001). Size frequency analysis gives reliable information for short-lived species with well-defined annual reproduction periods. The approach becomes increasingly unreliable the longer a species lives because slowly growing specimens of older age may group together with fast growing specimens of younger age. Since these effects increase with age, size-frequency based growth models are imprecise in long-lived species (Sheehy et al., 1999; Hartnoll, 2001). Moreover, the von Bertalanffy growth model assumes that an organism reaches a maximum size and approaches this size asymptotically. This assumption holds for the determinately growing decapods like the snow crab Chionoecetes opilio, which stops growing after a terminal moult but continues to live for several years (Ernst et al., 2005). However, most decapods are indeterminate growers and have no fixed growth limit.

The lipofuscin method is based on the continuous, life-long deposition of lipofuscin in persistent cell types. Lipofuscin is a fluorescent, yellow-brown aggregate consisting of oxidized protein and lipid clusters (Jung et al., 2007). It originates from lysosomal degradation of cytosolic proteasome-protein complexes and damaged cell organelles. Lipofuscin is insoluble, resists enzymatic degradation and is deposited in residual bodies within the cells. The neurons and neuroglia of some brain areas of decapods obviously persist throughout life and accumulate lipofuscin with age, providing ideal targets for lipofuscin-based age determination (Sheehy, 1992). The lipofuscin content is usually quantified by measurement of the lipofuscin area in histological sections and, less reliably, by spectrofluorometric analysis. The lipofuscin content is a marker of the physiological age rather than the chronological age, and therefore, calibration is required with specimens of known age and for each environment (Sheehy et al., 1995b; Maxwell et al., 2007). In long-lived species, the lipofuscin method is apparently superior to size or weight based ageing techniques (Belchier et al., 1998).

Leland et al. (2011) and Kilada et al. (2012) suggested using cuticular growth bands of stomach ossicles and the growing edge of the eyestalks for age determination. The interpretation of cuticle bands in the ossicles as annual age marker is based on the idea that parts of the gastric mill are retained through the moult and accumulate a continuous record of age. Analyses in several species seemed to support this idea (Kilada and Driscoll, 2017; Gnanalingam et al., 2019). However, Sheridan and O’Connor (2018) and Becker et al. (2018) revealed in several species that the zygocardiac ossicles in question are shed during moulting and wondered how the age information could be transferred to the new cuticle. Because of this unsettled controvery, I have not included growth band data in this paper.

Results

Table 1 includes 282 longevity data for 244 species. These data are heterogeneous because they were obtained with different ageing methods: 108 data come from growth models (mainly von Bertalanffy equations), 61 from the analysis of size-frequency and life history data, 19 from the mark and recapture method, 20 from rearing in captivity, 9 from the lipofuscin method, 2 from shell radiometry, 62 from review articles, book chapters and the discussion sections of papers, and 33 from species profiles compiled by experienced carcinologists (some papers have used more than one ageing approach). Table 1 lists the highest longevities given by the authors. These are either minimum expected life spans, maximum life spans estimated by growth models, or recorded ages of the oldest individuals. The list represents 1.7% of the 14,335 decapod species, 4.8% of the genera, 30% of the families and 63.6% of the sub-/infraorders.

Table 1 Life spans of decapod crustaceans.  

Sub-/Infraorder Family Species Environment Life span (yr) Ageing method Reference
Dendrobranchiata Aristeidae Aristeus antennatus (Risso, 1816) M 3 SF Sarda and Demestre, 1987
9 GM Orsi Relini and Relini, 1998
Aristaeomorpha foliacea (Risso, 1827) M 4-51 GM Ragonese et al., 2012
Luciferidae Belzebub faxoni (Borradaile, 1915) M 0.1 RC Lee et al., 1992
Penaeidae Atypopenaeus stenodactylus (Stimpson, 1860) M 1 SP Kunju, 1969
Metapenaeus ensis (De Haan, 1844) M 1.3 SF Leung, 1997
Metapenaeopsis dalei (Rathbun, 1902) M 1.5-1.61 GM Choi et al., 2005
Metapenaeopsis sibogae (de Man, 1907) M 2.3 GM Rahman and Ohtomi, 2018
Parapenaeopsis stylifera (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) M 2 SF Anantha et al., 1997
Parapenaeus fissuroides Crosnier, 1986   M 2-2.51 GM Farhana and Ohtomi, 2017
Penaeus aztecus Ives, 1891 M 1.1-1.31 GM Chávez, 1973
Penaeus brasiliensis Latreille, 1817 M 2 GM Leite and Pretere, 2006
Penaeus kerathurus (Forskål, 1775) M 3 GM Vitale et al., 2010
Penaeus monodon   Fabricius, 1798 M 1.5-21 SF, RC Motoh, 1981
2 LM Sheehy et al., 1995a
Penaeus paulensis (Pérez Farfante, 1967) M 2 GM Leite and Petrere, 2006
Penaeus semisulcatus De Haan, 1844 M 1.3-1.71 GM Niamaimandi et al., 2007
Penaeus setiferus (Linnaeus, 1767) M, B 2 SF Lindner and Cook, 1970
Penaeus stylirostris Stimpson, 1871 M, B 1.7 GM López-Martinez et al., 2005
1.7-1.91 GM Palacios et al.,1993
Penaeus subtilis (Pérez Farfante, 1967) M 2.1-2.21 GM Silva et al., 2015
Rimapenaeus constrictus (Stimpson, 1871) M 0.7-1.11 GM Garcia et al., 2016
1.2-1.61 GM Lopes et al., 2017
Trachysalambria curvirostris (Stimpson, 1860) M 1.2-1.31 GM Cha et al., 2004
1.5 GM Hossain and Ohtomi, 2010
Xiphopenaeus kroyeri (Heller, 1862) M, B 1.5-21 GM Lopes et al., 2014
1.4-2.11 GM Castilho et al., 2015
Sergestidae Acetes chinensis Hansen, 1919 M 0.8-12 GM Oh and Jeong, 2003
Acetes indicus H. Milne Edwards, 1830 M, B 1.9-2.51 GM Amin et al., 2012
Acetes japonicus Kishinouye, 1905 M 0.2 R Lee et al., 1992
Lucensosergia lucens (Hansen, 1922) M 1.2 R Lee et al., 1992
Solenoceridae Solenocera acuminata Pérez Farfante & Bullis, 1973 M 2 GM Guéguen, 1998
Solenocera chopraiNataraj, 1945   M 2.5 SF Dineshbabu and Manissery, 2007
Solenocera crassicornis (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) M 0.8-1.31 R Kunju, 1969
Solenocera melanthode Man, 1907 M 3.1 GM Ohtomi and Irieda, 1997
Caridea Alpheidae Alpheus armillatus H. Milne Edwards, 1837 M 1.2-1.31 GM Mossolin et al., 2006
Atyidae Atya lanipesHolthuis, 1963 F 8 GM Cross et al., 2008
Atyaephyra desmarestii (Millet, 1831)   F, B 1 SF Fidalgo et al., 2015
1.1-1.31 SF Dhaouadi-Hassen and Boumaiza, 2009
2 LH Vorstman, 1955
Caridina cantonensisYü, 1938   F 1.8 SF Yam and Dudgeon, 2005
Caridina fernandoi Arudpragasam & Costa, 1962 F 1 GM De Silva, 1988a
Caridina multidentata Stimpson, 1860   F 6 SP Wirbellosen Datenbank, 2019a
Caridina serrataStimpson, 1860   F 1.4 SF Yam and Dudgeon, 2005
Caridina simoniBouvier, 1904   F 1-1.5 GM, RC De Silva, 1988b
Palaemonias ganteriHay, 1902 FC 15 RC U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2010
Crangonidae Crangon crangon(Linnaeus, 1758)   M 3.3 GM Oh et al., 1999
Crangon franciscorum Stimpson, 1856   M 1-1.51 GM Gavio et al., 2006
Notocrangon antarcticus (Pfeffer, 1887)   M 6-101 GM, LM Bluhm and Brey, 2001
Sabinea septemcarinata (Sabine, 1824) M 4 SF Weşławski, 1987
Sclerocrangon boreas (Phipps, 1774) M 9 GM Sainte-Marie et al., 2006
Sclerocrangon ferox (Sars G.O., 1877)   M 4 SF Weşławski, 1987
Hippolytidae Chorismus antarcticus (Pfeffer, 1887) M 7 GM Gorny et al., 1993
Latreutes fucorum (Fabricius, 1798) M 0.5 R Bauer, 2004
Latreutes parvulus (Stimpson, 1871) M 0.5 R Bauer, 2004
Lysmatidae Lysmata wurdemanni (Gibbes, 1850) M 1.6 SF Baldwin and Bauer, 2003
Nematocarcinidae Nematocarcinus lanceopes Spence Bate, 1888 M 6 R Bauer, 2004
Palaemonidae Macrobrachium acanthurus (Wiegmann, 1836)  F, B 2 R Brown et al., 2010
Macrobrachium borellii (Nobili, 1896) F 2 R Brown et al., 2010
Macrobrachium carcinus (Linnaeus, 1758) F, B 8 GM Valenti et al., 1994
Macrobrachium hainanense (Parisi, 1919) F 2.4-41 GM Mantel and Dudgeon, 2005
Macrobrachium rosenbergii (de Man, 1879) F 3 R Brown et al., 2010
Palaemon antennarius H. Milne Edwards, 1837 F 2 R Wirbellosen Datenbank, 2019b
Palaemon macrodactylus Rathbun, 1902 M, B 1 GM Vázquez et al., 2012
2 R Bauer, 2004
Palaemon modestus (Heller, 1862) F 1.1-1.31 GM Oh et al., 2002
Palaemon paludosus (Gibbes, 1850) F 1 GM Beck and Cowell, 1976
Palaemon paucidens De Haan, 1844 M 1.1 GM Kim et al., 2008
Palaemon pugio Holthuis, 1949 F, B 0.5-1.13 GM Alon and Stancyk, 1982
Palaemon xiphiasRisso, 1816   M 1.4 GM Guerao et al., 1994
Pandalidae Heterocarpus reedi Bahamonde, 1955 M 6 GM Roa and Ernst, 1996
Heterocarpus woodmasoni Alcock, 1901 M 3.7-51 GM Rajasree et al., 2011
Pandalus borealisKrøyer, 1838   M 4-83 R Koeller, 2006
5-71 GM Sokholov, 2002
11 GM Nilssen and Aschan, 2009
Pandalus eousMakarov, 1935   M 11 GM Sadakata, 1999
Plesionika edwardsii (Brandt, 1851)   M 3.5 GM Colloca, 2002
Plesionika izumiaeOmori, 1971 M 1.5 GM Ahamed and Ohtomi, 2012
Plesionika semilaevis Spence Bate, 1888   M 3 GM Ohtomi, 1997
Thoridae Heptacarpus sitchensis (Brandt, 1851) M 1.5 R Bauer, 2004
Spirontocaris phippsii (Krøyer, 1841)   M 5 SF Weşławski, 1987
Thor manningi Chace, 1972 M 0.5 R Bauer, 2004
Xiphocarididae Xiphocaris elongata (Guérin-Méneville, 1855) F 5-113 GM Cross et al., 2008
18 MR Cross et al., 2008
Astacidea Astacidae Astacus astacus(Linnaeus, 1758)   F 10 R Skurdal and Taugbøl, 2002
15 R Sadykova et al., 2011
Austropotamobius fulcisianus (Ninni, 1886) F 8 MR, GM Scalici et al., 2008a
15-181 GM Ghia et al., 2015
Austropotamobius pallipes (Lereboullet, 1858)   F 5-63 MR, SF Neveu, 2000
6 SF, LH Pratten, 1980
9-111 GM Wendler et al., 2015
Austropotamobius torrentium (von Paula Schrank, 1803) F 9 GM Streissl and Hödl, 2002
Pacifastacus leniusculus (Dana, 1852) F 9.7 GM, LM Fonseca and Sheehy, 2007
12 MR, GM Flint, 1975
16.7 LM Belchier et al., 1998
Pontastacus leptodactylus (Eschscholtz, 1823) F 7.4 GM Deval et al., 2007
Cambaridae Cambarellus patzcuarensis Villalobos, 1943   F 1.6 SP Wirbellosen Datenbank, 2019c
Cambarellus puerHobbs, 1945   F 1.2 R Walls, 2009
Cambarellus shufeldtii (Faxon, 1884)   F 1.5 R Walls, 2009
Cambarus bartonii (Fabricius, 1798)   F 13 MR, GM Huryn and Wallace, 1987
Cambarus chasmodactylus James, 1966   F 3 R Lukhaup and Pekny, 2008
Cambarus dubiusFaxon, 1884 F 7 SF, LH Loughman, 2010
Cambarus elkensis Jezerinac & Stocker, 1993 F 5.3 SF, LH Jones and Eversole, 2011
Cambarus halliHobbs, 1968   F 2 R McLay and van den Brink, 2016
Cambarus hubbsiCreaser, 1931 F 3 R McLay and van den Brink, 2016
Cambarus robustus Girard, 1852 F 4 R Guiaşu and Dunham, 2002
Creaserinus fodiens(Cottle, 1863) F 6 LH Norrocky, 1991
Creaserinus gordoni (Fitzpatrick, 1987) F 3 LH Johnston and Figiel, 1997
Faxonella creaseriWalls, 1968 F 1.5 R Walls, 2009
Faxonius eupunctus (Williams, 1952) F 2.5 SP Lukhaup and Pekny, 2008
Faxonius immunis (Hagen, 1870) F 3 R Holdich, 1993
Faxonius limosus (Rafinesque, 1817) F 4 R U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2015
Faxonius ozarkae(Williams, 1952)   F 2.5 SP Lukhaup and Pekny, 2008
Faxonius placidus(Hagen, 1870)   F 3 R Taylor, 2003
Faxonius rusticus(Girard, 1852) F 3 SP Lukhaup and Pekny, 2008
Faxonius virilis (Hagen, 1870) F 3 R Holdich, 1993
Lacunicambarus diogenes (Girard, 1852) F 6 RC Walls, 2009
Lacunicambarus ludovicianus (Faxon, 1884) F 3 R, RC Walls, 2009
Orconectes australis (Rhoades, 1941) FC 22 MR, GM Venarsky et al., 2012
Orconectes inermis  Cope, 1872 FC 10 R Venarsky et al., 2012
Procambarus alleni(Faxon, 1884) F 3 R Wirbellosen Datenbank, 2019d
Procambarus clarkii(Girard, 1852)   F 1-41 R Huner, 2002
4 GM Scalici and Gherardi, 2007
6.6 GM Chucholl, 2011
Procambarus erythrops Relyea & Sutton, 1975 FC 16 MR, SF Streever, 1996
Procambarus hinei (Ortmann, 1905)   F 1.5 R Walls, 2009
Procambarus suttkusiHobbs, 1953   F 3 LH Baker et al., 2008
Procambarus viaeviridis (Faxon, 1914)   F 2 SP Lukhaup and Pekny, 2008
Procambarus virginalis Lyko, 2017 F 4.4 RC Vogt, 2010
Cambaroididae Cambaroides japonicus (De Haan, 1841) F 10-111 GM Kawai et al., 1997
Nephropidae Homarus americanus H. Milne Edwards, 1837 M 33 R Wolff, 1978
Homarus gammarus (Linnaeus, 1758) M 40 R Wolff, 1978
42-721 LM Sheehy et al., 1999
Nephrops norvegicus (Linnaeus, 1758) M 12-151 R Bell et al., 2006
Parastacidae Astacoides betsileoensisPetit, 1923 F 15 MR, GM Jones et al., 2007
Astacoides crosnieriHobbs, 1987 F 30 MR, GM Jones et al., 2007
Astacoides granulimanus Monod & Petit, 1929 F 25 MR, GM Jones and Coulson, 2006
30 MR, GM Jones et al., 2007
Astacopsis gouldi Clark, 1936 F 26 LH, MR, LR Hamr, 1997
60 SP Lukhaup and Pekny, 2008
Cherax cuspidatusRiek, 1969   F 8 LM Sheehy, 2002
Cherax destructorClark, 1936   F 6 R Gherardi et al., 2010
Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens, 1868) F 5 R Gherardi et al., 2010
Euastacus armatus (von Martens, 1866) F 20-283 GM Gilligan et al., 2007
Geocharax tasmanicus (Erichson, 1846) F 10 GM Hamr and Richardson, 1994
Paranephrops planifrons White, 1842   F 3-51 MR, GM Parkyn et al., 2002
Paranephrops zealandicus (White, 1847) F 29 MR, GM Whitmore and Huryn 1999
Parastacus brasiliensis (von Martens, 1869)   F 6 GM Fontura and Buckup, 1989
Parastacus defossus Faxon, 1898 F 3.3 GM Noro and Buckup, 2009
Gebiidea Upogebiidae Upogebia pusilla  (Petagna, 1792) M 3 GM Kevrekidis et al., 1997
4 GM Conides et al., 2012
Achelata Palinuridae Jasus lalandii (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) M 40 SP FAO, 2019
Panulirus argus(Latreille, 1804)   M 20 LM Maxwell et al., 2007
30 MR, GM Ehrhardt, 2008
Panulirus cygnusGeorge, 1962 M 27 LM Sheehy, 2002
Palinurus elephas(Fabricius, 1787)   M 15 R Phillips and Melville-Smith, 2006
Palinurus gilchristiStebbing, 1900   M 30 R Phillips and Melville-Smith, 2006
Palinurus mauritanicus Gruvel, 1911   M 21 R Phillips and Melville-Smith, 2006
Anomura Aeglidae Aegla francaSchmitt, 1942   F 2.3 R Rocha et al., 2010
Aegla itacolomiensis Bond-Buckup & Buckup, 1994 F 2.2-2.51 GM Silva-Gonçalves et al., 2009
Aegla jarai Bond-Buckup & Buckup, 1994 F 2 GM Boos et al., 2006
Aegla paulensisSchmitt, 1942   F 2.8-3.31 GM Cohen et al., 2011
Aegla strinatiiTurkay, 1972   F 2.8 R Rocha et al., 2010
Coenobitidae Birgus latro  (Linnaeus, 1767) T 50 GM Fletcher et al., 1990
70 MR, GM Drew et al., 2013
Coenobita clypeatus (Fabricius, 1787) T 42 RC NBC2 News, 2018; Atlas Obscura, 2019
Coenobita perlatus H. Milne Edwards, 1837 T 30 R Animal Diversity Web, 2019a
Coenobita variabilis McCulloch, 1909 T 20 SP Species Bank, 2019
Diogenidae Clibanarius antillensis Stimpson, 1859   M 4 GM Turra and Leite, 2000
Clibanarius sclopetarius (Herbst, 1796)   M 3.9 GM Turra and Leite, 2000
Clibanarius vittatus(Bosc, 1802)   M 3.5 GM Turra and Leite, 2000
Hippidae Emerita analoga (Stimpson, 1857) M 3 SF Osório et al., 1967
Emerita brasiliensis Schmitt, 1935 M 0.6-0.71 GM Veloso and Cardoso, 1999
Emerita holthuisi Sankolli, 1965 M 0.7 SF Ansell et al., 1972
Emerita portoricensis Schmitt, 1935 M 1.1-1.31 GM Sastre, 1991
Emerita talpoida (Say, 1817) M 1-1.81 SF Diaz, 1980
Lithodidae Paralithodes camtschaticus (Tilesius, 1815) M 20 RC Matsuura and Takeshita, 1990
Paguridae Pagurus brevidactylus (Stimpson, 1859) M 1.5-21 GM Mantelatto et al., 2005
Brachyura Aethridae Hepatus pudibundus (Herbst, 1785) M 1.9-2.41 GM Miazaki et al., 2019
Camptandriidae Deiratonotus kaoriae Miura, Kawane & Wada, 2007 M 1.5 SF, LH Kawane et al., 2012
Cancridae Cancer irroratusSay, 1817   M 8 LH Hines, 1991
Cancer pagurusLinnaeus, 1758   M 9 LM Sheehy and Prior, 2008
10 LH Hines, 1991
21 SP BIOTIC, 2019
Cancer productusRandall, 1840 M 4 LH Hines, 1991
Glebocarcinus oregonensis(Dana, 1852) M 5 LH Hines, 1991
Metacarcinus anthonyi(Rathbun, 1897) M 5 LH Hines, 1991
Metacarcinus gracilis(Dana, 1852) M 4 LH Hines, 1991
Metacarcinus magister (Dana, 1852) M 5 LH Hines, 1991
10 SP Pauley et al., 1989
Romaleon antennarium (Stimpson, 1856) M 7 LH Hines, 1991
Carcinidae Carcinus aestuarii Nardo, 1847 M 3 LH Furota et al., 1999
Carcinus maenas(Linnaeus, 1758) M 4-73 R Klassen and Locke, 2007
Dorippidae Medorippe lanata (Linnaeus, 1767)   M 1 GM Rossetti et al., 2006
Gecarcinidae Cardisoma armatum Herklots, 1851 ST, T 12 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Cardisoma guanhumi Latreille, 1825 T 20 R Wolcott, 1988
Gecarcinus lateralis(Guérin, 1832)   T 10 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Gecarcinus quadratusSaussure, 1853   T 10 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Gecarcinus ruricola (Linnaeus, 1758)   T 15 LH Hartnoll et al., 2006
Gecarcoidea natalis (Pocock, 1889) T 20 R Green, 2004
Gecarcinucidae Orizothelphusa ceylonensis (Fernando, 1960) F 4 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Parathelphusa maculata de Man, 1879   F 5 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Parathelphusa pantherina (Schenkel, 1902) F 10 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Geryonidae Chaceon chilensis Chirino-Gálvez & Manning, 1989 M 20 GM Canales and Arana, 2009
Chaceon maritae (Manning & Holthuis, 1981) M 25 GM, MR Melville-Smith, 1989
Chaceon quinquedens (Smith, 1879)   M 30 GM Chute et al., 2008
Grapsidae Grapsus adscensionis (Osbeck, 1765)   M 0.5-11 R Hartnoll, 2009
Pachygrapsus crassipes Randall, 1840 M 2.7 SF, LH Hiatt, 1948
Hymenosomatidae Amarinus laevis (Targioni-Tozzetti, 1877)   F, B 1 R Lucas, 1980
Amarinus lacustris(Chilton, 1882) F, B 2 R, RC Lucas, 1980
Amarinus paralacustris (Lucas, 1970)   F, B 2 R, RC Lucas, 1980
Elamenopsis lineata A. Milne-Edwards, 1873 M 1.5 R McLay, 2015
Halicarcinus cookiiFilhol, 1885   M 1.5 LH Van den Brink, 2006
Halicarcinus planatus (Fabricius, 1775) M 1.8 LH Vinuesa and Ferrari, 2008
3 R McLay, 2015
4 SF, LH Diez and Lovrich, 2013
Halicarcinus quoyi (H. Milne Edwards, 1853) M 1.5 R McLay, 2015
Halicarcinus varius(Dana, 1851)   M 1.5 R McLay, 2015
Hymenosoma orbiculare Desmarest, 1823   M 1.5 R McLay, 2015
Limnopilos naiyanetri Chuang & Ng, 1991 F 2 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Lucascinus coralicola (Rathbun, 1909) M 1 RC, LH Gao et al., 1994
Neorhynchoplax kempi (Chopra & Das, 1930) M, B 0.5-0.92 SF, LH Ali et al., 1995
Rhynchoplax messor Stimpson, 1858 M 1 LH Gao and Watanabe, 1998
Inachidae Inachus dorsettensis (Pennant, 1777)   M 3 RC, GM Hartnoll and Bryant, 2001
Inachoididae Pyromaia tuberculata (Lockington, 1877)   M 0.4-0.72 LH Furota, 1996
Macrophthalmidae Macrophthalmus banzai Wada & Sakai, 1989   M 1.6-2.53 SF, LH Henmi, 1993
Majidae Maja squinado(Herbst, 1788) M 7 GM Le Foll, 1993
Mithracidae Maguimithrax spinosissimus (Lamarck, 1818) M 1 R McLay, 2015
Ocypodidae Austruca lactea(De Haan, 1835) M, B 7 LH Yamaguchi, 2002
Leptuca cumulanta(Crane, 1943) M, B 0.7 GM Koch et al., 2005
Minuca pugnax(Smith, 1870)   M, B 4.5 R McLay, 2015
Minuca rapax(Smith, 1870) M. B 1.4 GM Koch et al., 2005
2.5 R Taddei et al., 2010
Minuca vocator(Herbst, 1804)   M, B 1.1 GM Koch et al., 2005
Ocypode quadrata (Fabricius, 1787)   M, B 3 SP Animal Diversity Web, 2019b
Uca maracoani  (Latreille, 1802) M, B 1.2-1.51 GM Koch et al., 2005
Ucides cordatus(Linnaeus, 1763) M, B 8.3-9.21 GM Pinheiro and Taddei, 2005
15.7-17.61 GM Costa et al., 2014
Oregoniidae Chionoecetes bairdiRathbun, 1924 M 4.2 RS Ernst et al., 2005
12 GM Donaldson et al., 1981
Chionoecetes opilio (O. Fabricius, 1788) M 6.9 RS Ernst et al., 2005
7.7 MR Fonseca et al., 2008
Hyas coarctatusLeach, 1815   M 1.5-21 RC, LH Hartnoll and Bryant, 2001
Pinnotheridae Dissodactylus mellitae (Rathbun, 1900)   M 1.2 SF, LH Bell and Stancyk, 1983
Pinnotheres pisum (Linnaeus, 1767) M 3 RC Berner, 1952
Pinnotheres tsingtaoensis Shen, 1932 M 2 SF, LH Soong, 1997
Zaops ostreus(Say, 1817) M 1-31 RC, LH Christensen and McDermott, 1958
Portunidae Callinectes danaeSmith, 1869   M 2.4-3.31 GM Shinozaki-Mendes et al., 2012
Callinectes sapidusRathbun, 1896   M 8 GM, MR Rugolo et al., 1998
Charybdis bimaculata (Miers, 1886) M 1.5 GM Doi et al., 2008
Charybdis japonica (A. Milne-Edwards, 1861)   M 4 R Doi et al., 2008
Charybdis smithiiMacLeay, 1838   M 1 R Doi et al., 2008
Portunus pelagicus (Linnaeus, 1758) M 2 LH De Lestang et al., 2003
Portunus trituberculatus (Miers, 1876)   M 2 LH, RC Ariyama, 1992
Scylla olivacea(Herbst, 1796) M, B 3.5-3.91 GM Viswanathan et al., 2016
Potamidae Potamon fluviatile(Herbst, 1785) F 8.6-14.33 GM Scalici et al., 2008b
Potamonautidae Liberonautes latidactylus (de Man, 1903) F 6 R Cumberlidge, 1999
Potamonautes lirrangensis (Rathbun, 1904) F 10 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Pseudothelphusidae Rodriguezus garmani (Rathbun, 1898) F 3 RC, LH Rostant et al., 2008
Sesarmidae Aratus pisonii (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) ST 2 SF, LH Leme (2002)
4.5-63 LH Conde et al., 2000
Geosesarma bicolor Ng & Davie, 1995   ST 2 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Geosesarma krathing Ng & Naiyanetr, 1992 T 2 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Geosesarma notophorum Ng & Tan, 1995 T 2 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Guinearma huzardi (Desmarest, 1825) T 8 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Metasesarma aubryi (A. Milne-Edwards, 1869) T 4 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Metasesarma obesum(Dana, 1851)   T 3 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Neosarmatium meinerti (de Man, 1887)   ST 7 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Parasesarma eumolpe (De Man, 1895) ST 3 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Pseudosesarma bocourti (A. Milne-Edwards, 1869)   ST 5 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Pseudosesarma crassimanum (De Man, 1888)   ST 5 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Pseudosesarma moeschii (De Man, 1892) ST 5 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Sesarmops intermedius (De Haan, 1835)   ST 5 SP Rademacher and Mengedoht, 2011
Sesarma jarvisi  Rathbun, 1914 T 5 LH Diesel and Horst 1995
Trichodactylidae Dilocarcinus pageiStimpson, 1861 F 2.4-2.71 GM Pinheiro et al., 2005
4-4.51 GM Taddei and Herrera, 2010
Varunidae Eriocheir japonica (De Haan, 1835)   F, B 4.4 RC Kobayashi, 2012
Eriocheir sinensis H. Milne Edwards, 1853 F, B 1 LH Jin et al., 2002
5 R Herborg et al., 2003
Hemigrapsus crenulatus (H. Milne Edwards, 1837) M 5 LH Clark, 1987
Neohelice granulata(Dana, 1851) M, B 2 GM Barcelos et al., 2007
4 .1 GM Luppi et al., 2004
Xanthidae Xantho poressa(Olivi, 1792)   M 1-21 SF, LH Spivak et al., 2010

Longevity figures are maximum values given in cited references. Ranges in longevity column are differences between sexes1, summer and winter generations2, and habitats3. Species names and habitats are according to the World Register of Marine Species. Some species, e.g., from the Ocypodidae (Crane, 1975; Thurman et al., 2013), Hymenosomatidae and Varunidae live in a broad range of salinities, which is considered in column 4 by using the abbreviations M, B and F, B. Abbreviations: B, brackish water; F, fresh water; FC, freshwater cave; GM, growth model based on size-frequency distribution and reproductive parameters; LH, life history analysis; LM, lipofuscin method; M, marine; MR, mark-recapture method; R, reviewed data; RC, rearing in captivity; RS, radiometry of shell; SF, size-frequency distribution analysis; SP, data from species profile; ST, semiterrestrial; T, terrestrial.

Mean longevity of the 244 decapod species is 7.12 years with 4.1% of the species living less than 1 year, 57.0% living from 1-4.9 years, 18.4% from 5-9.9 years, 11.1% from 10-19.9 years and 9.4% living beyond 20 years (Fig. 1). The oldest decapod in captivity is a 42-year old hermit crab (Coenobita clypeatus). This specimen was purchased by Carol Ann Ormes in summer 1976 and kept since then as a pet (Atlas Obscura, 2019). It was still alive in December 2018 (NBC2 News, 2018). The oldest marked decapod ever recaptured is a caridean freshwater shrimp (Xiphocaris elongata) from a headwater stream in Puerto Rico. It was recaptured after 18 years (Cross et al., 2008). The highest age determined by the lipofuscin method was 72±9 years for a female of the European lobster, Hommarus gammarus, from the Yorkshire fishery in U.K. (Sheehy et al., 1999). The maximum age estimated by growth models was 70-100 years for females and males of coconut crab, Birgus latro, on Christmas island (Drew et al., 2013). The highest age ever estimated by growth models was 176 years in the cave-dwelling crayfish Orconectes australis (cf.Cooper, 1975). However, reinvestigation of new populations and Cooper’s data with refined growth models revealed a longevity of 22 years for this species, with only a small proportion of individuals exceeding this age (Venarsky et al., 2012).

Figure 1 Longevity spectrum of the Decapoda. More than half of the 244 investigated species have life spans below 5 years. Approximately 20% of species live longer than 10 years and less than 10% reach ages above 20 years. 

Longevity differences between and within higher taxa

Longevity varies markedly between sub-/infraorders (Table 2). The plesiomorphic Dendrobrachiata have average longevities of 2.1 years. The average lifespan of the derived Pleocyemata, which include all other infraorders, is 7.8 years. Caridea live on average for 4.2 years, Brachyura for 5.6 years, Astacidea for 11.0 years, Anomura for 11.4 years and Achelata for 27.2 years (Table 2). For the Gebiidea I have found only one reliable value of 4 years, and for the Axiidea, Polychelida and Glypheidea data are apparently lacking. Kornienko (2013) estimated the longevity of the Gebiidea and Axiidea to 2-5 years but mentioned that some workers have estimated their maximum life span to 10 years and more.

Table 2 Comparison of longevities between higher taxa. 

No. of species with longevity data Longevity range (yr)* Mean (yr) ± SD and CV (%)
Dendrobranchiata 29 of 540 0.1-9 2.13±1.61; 75.6
Caridea 43 of 3,268 0.5-18 4.19±4.05; 96.7
Astacidea 54 of 653 1.5-72 11.00±13.80; 125.5
Gebiidea 1 of 192 4-4 4.00±0.00; 0.0
Achelata 6 of 140 15-40 27.17±8.56; 31.5
Anomura 19 of 2,451 0.7-70 11.34±18.28; 161.2
Brachyura 92 of 6,559 0.7-30 5.59±5.75; 102.9
Decapoda 244 of 14,335 0.1-72 7.12±10.18; 142.9

* Based on reported maximum values of species. CV=coefficient of variation. No reliable data were found for the 69 Stenopodidea, 2 Glypheidea, 423 Axiidea and 38 Polychelida. Species numbers of decapod groups are from De Grave et al., 2009

Longevity can markedly differ among members of the same higher taxon. Longevity varies from 0.1-9 years (CV=75.6%) in the Dendrobranchiata, 0.5-18 years (CV=96.7%) in the Caridea, 0.7-30 years (CV=102.9%) in the Brachyura, 0.7-70 years (CV=161.2%) in the Anomura, 1.5-72 years (CV=125.5%) in the Astacidea, and 15-40 years (CV=31.5%) in the Achelata (Table 2). There are also marked differences within the same family or genus. Examples are the Cambaridae with life spans of 1.2-22 years and the genus Procambarus with life spans of 1.5-16 years (Table 1). These differences may be the result of the evolution of different life histories and life styles and spreading into different environments.

Longevity differences between marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments

Longevity is on average lowest in the sea and brackish water (6.0 years, n=132), intermediate in fresh water (7.2 years, n=88) and highest in semiterrestrial and terrestrial environments (13.0 years, n=24) (Fig. 2). The difference between marine and freshwater environments is partly due to the fact that the shorter-lived Dendrobranchiata have not invaded freshwater habitats. Longevity promoting environments are obviously the deep sea, polar waters, freshwater caves and the land. For example, the deep sea shrimps Aristeus antennatus and Aristaeomorpha foliacea have the highest life spans of all investigated Dendrobranchiata and the polar caridean shrimps Notocrangon antarcticus   and Sclerocrangon boreas live much longer than crangonids from warmer waters (Table 1). The cave-dwelling shrimp Palaemonias ganteri and crayfish Orconectes australis live much longer than their epigean relatives, and the terrestrial anomurans have considerably higher life spans than their marine and freshwater relatives (Table 1).

Figure 2 Comparison of longevities between marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. The percentage of life spans ≥5 years increases markedly from marine to freshwater to terrestrial species. Brackish water species are included in the marine group. 

Particularly long-lived species

Species that live for several decades are found in distantly related families like the achelatan Palinuridae (spiny lobsters), astacidean Nephropidae (clawed lobsters) and Parastacidae (southern hemisphere crayfish), anomuran Coenobitidae (hermit and coconut crabs), and brachyuran Menippidae and Inachidae. Examples of the first four families are found in Table 1. Examples of the latter two families are the Tasmanian giant crab Pseudocarcinus gigas (Lamarck, 1818) and the giant Japanese spider crab Macrocheira kaempferi (Temminck, 1836). The ability of these species to live for many decades and even more than 100 years was deduced from their exceptionally large size (e.g., Homarus americanus and Macrocheira kaempferi), slow growth and late onset of maturity (e.g., Pseudocarcinus gigas and Astacopsis gouldi), and phases of zero and negative growth at high age (e.g., Birgus latro) (Wolf, 1978; Hamr, 1997; Gardner et al., 2002; Drew et al., 2013). For example, the intermoult duration in adult Pseudocarcinus gigas is about 9 years (Gardner et al., 2002) and the average age at maturity in the giant Tasmanian freshwater crayfish Astacopsis gouldi is approximately 9 years in males and 14 years in females (Hamr, 1997).

Discussion

The present list of life spans in decapod crustaceans was compiled to provide a first data base for interested carcinologists. Since longevity is an important parameter in ecology, fisheries and conservation (Hartnoll, 2001; Cailliet and Andrews, 2008) it may help researchers in these fields with information and literature. I am aware that the compiled data are quite heterogeneous since they were obtained with different ageing methods but having data of diverse quality is better than having no data. The list includes only data obtained with established methods of age determination such as rearing in captivity, mark-recapture method, growth models and the lipofuscin method (Hartnoll, 2001; Vogt, 2012). Data obtained by growth band counts of hard structures that are thought to perist during moulting were not considered because this issue is still controversially discussed (Kilada and Driscoll, 2017; Becker et al., 2018). Future research must show, whether this approach will be a breakthrough in ageing of decapods or a wrong path.

The Decapoda include almost 15,000 species that differ greatly in body size, life history and ecology (De Grave et al., 2009). Almost 80% live in the sea or brackish water, about 20% in freshwater and less than 1% on land. The highest percentage of longevity data is available for the terrestrial species followed by freshwater species. Analysis of the longevity data of 244 species revealed an exceptionally broad range of life spans in the Decapoda when compared to other animal groups and differences between higher taxa and environments.

Longevity in the Decapoda ranges from 0.1 to about 70 years, corresponding to a 700 fold difference. The shortest-lived decapods are planktonic shrimps and the longest-lived decapods are clawed lobsters. In insects, the closest relatives of crustaceans, life span varies from a month in fruit fly to about two decades in queens of termites (Thorne et al., 2002). In bivalves, the longevity range is 1-374 years (Abele et al., 2009), in fishes 1-152 years, in amphibians 1.8-55 years, in reptiles 1-153 years, in birds 1.5-73 years, and in mammals 1-122 years (Carey and Judge, 2000).

Longevity in decapods apparently depends on taxonomic affiliation. The plesiomorphic Dendrobranchiata have the smallest average live span. They usually live less than 2 years with the exception of some deep-sea representatives. The infraorder with the highest percentage of long-lived species is probably the Achelata, which include slipper lobsters and rock lobsters. However, the coefficient of variation for life spans is high in all infraorders, mostly exceeding 100%. This data indicates that longevity was subject to intense evolution in all infraorders of the Decapoda.

The present compilation of data also shows that longevity is dependent on the environment. Terrestrial species live on average longer than freshwater species, and freshwater species live longer than marine species. In an earlier paper, I have presented examples on the positive correlation of life span and latitude and examples on longevity differences between diverse habitats of the same geographical region (Vogt, 2012). The deep sea, cold polar waters and nutrient-poor cave environments seem to prolong life spans.

It was not my aim to correlate longevity with body size but there is a general tendency that bigger species have long life spans. For example, freshwater crayfish, lobsters, slipper lobsters and some large brachyuran crabs have life spans of decades, whereas small species from these groups life only for 1-2 years. However, there are also some contradictory examples like the shrimps of the genus Penaeus that reach sizes of more than 30 cm but live only for about 2 years.

The present database gives no information about which method of age determination is the most appropriate one, because studies that have analysed the same population with more than one ageing technique are scarce. For example, in the shrimp Xiphocaris elongata from a Puerto Rican headwater stream longevity was estimated to 11 years by a growth model but recapture of an earlier marked specimen revealed an age of 18 years (Cross et al., 2008).

There is a certain probability that, due to indeterminate growth, some exceptionally large specimens of the long-lived species may become centenarians. However, validation would require long-term rearing in captivity over several generations of researchers or recapture of marked specimens in the distant future. Both approaches are principally possible but I doubt if there are scientists who engage in such long-term tasks.

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Received: April 02, 2019; Accepted: July 06, 2019

Corresponding Author: Günter Vogt. E-mail: gunter.vogt@web.de

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