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Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências

Print version ISSN 0001-3765

Abstract

WATANABE, TIMOTEO T. et al. Biological associations of color variation in the Indo-Pacific swimming crab Charybdis hellerii. An. Acad. Bras. Ciênc. [online]. 2015, vol.87, n.1, pp.219-232.  Epub Mar 06, 2015. ISSN 0001-3765.  https://doi.org/10.1590/0001-3765201520130388.

A marine biological invasion is a natural process accelerated by human activities, and the crab Charybdis hellerii is an example of a globally widespread invasive species. This study evaluated color variation in C. hellerii and its relationship to the sex, size and sexual maturity of these crabs, and compared the efficiency of a freeware digital image-editing program with a commercially available program. The color of the individuals was analyzed using standardized digital images. The color pattern varied significantly with size; smaller and immature individuals were darker than larger and mature ones. The female abdomen changed in morphology and color with sexual maturity, becoming wider and orange-colored. There was no statistical difference in the color values between males and females and immature males did not show morphological or color differences in their abdomen. This study highlights the possible relationships of the color and physiological state of the reproductive system, which could help in future studies of behavior, avoiding the need to dissect and/or remove individuals from nature for assessment of sexual maturity. The freeware program showed the same efficiency in digital image analysis as a widely known commercial program.

Keywords : Brachyura; coloration variation; digital image; Portunidae.

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