The goal of this study is to provide an illustrated identification key to distinguish zoeal phase of Brachyuran larvae that occur in the estuarine and nearby coastal region of the Patos Lagoon. The key includes species, collected monthly, using a conical net (165 cm long, 60 cm mouth and 330 µm mesh). Sampling was carried out on surface and deep waters. The identification was based on specimens reared under laboratory conditions as well as from previous published studies. This key was constructed upon external morphological characters, easy to observe under a stereomicroscope and moreover, the presentation of figures allows a non-specialist to make identifications more easily.
Brachyura; Zoea phase; larvae; identification key