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A new species of pea crab from south-western Europe (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura): species description, geographic distribution and population structure with an identification key to European Pinnotheridae

  • Jose A. Cuesta (a1), J. E. García Raso (a2), Pere Abelló (a3), Elena Marco-Herrero (a3), Luis Silva (a4) and Pilar Drake (a1)...

Abstract

After the recent detection, by both morphology and DNA barcodes, of the larval stages of an unknown species of pea crab (Pinnotheres sp.) in European waters, adults of this crab are herein reported and described as a new species. The current known geographic distribution of the species comprises the Gulf of Cádiz in the eastern Atlantic and the adjacent Mediterranean waters of the south of the Iberian Peninsula (Alboran Sea), where this crab is well-established inside the anomiid bivalve Anomia ephippium. In the Gulf of Cádiz, the species displayed a relatively high prevalence: on average, 55.6–77.7%, in A. ephippium samples. The dominant demographic categories of the new species were soft females (61.8–77.0%) with fewer males (17.7–21.10%). Most of the host bivalves carried only one crab; in bivalves harbouring two crabs, heterosexual pairs were collected more frequently than expected by chance, which suggests that they could be mated pairs. A strong correlation between host size and soft female size was found (r = 0.73, P < 0.01) indicating that space availability within hosts seems to be relevant in determining the size of the sedentary phase of the new crab species.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Jose A. Cuesta, E-mail: jose.cuesta@icman.csic.es

References

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Keywords

A new species of pea crab from south-western Europe (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura): species description, geographic distribution and population structure with an identification key to European Pinnotheridae

  • Jose A. Cuesta (a1), J. E. García Raso (a2), Pere Abelló (a3), Elena Marco-Herrero (a3), Luis Silva (a4) and Pilar Drake (a1)...

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