The goal of the present study was to determine the most appropriate time to release the immatures of Ucides cordatus (Linnaeus) produced in the laboratory into the natural environments. Specifically, the time when the megalopae sought the mangrove sediment to excavate the burrows was determined, as well as the time necessary for their metamorphosis into the first juvenile stage. Results indicated that the megalopae of U. cordatus reared in the laboratory took three to ten days (median = 6) after their molt to excavated burrows in the sediment. The average time for the megalopae to molt into juveniles was 12.6 days (SD = 2.3).
Ucides cordatus; restocking; larval rearing; settlement; megalopae; juvenile