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Ontogenetic trajectories in Callinectes danae (Crustacea: Brachyura): sex and age polymorphism

  • R.A. Shinozaki-Mendes (a1) and R. Lessa (a2)


We analysed the morphological variations through geometric morphometric approaches of the dorsal and ventral views of growing male and female Callinectes danae Smith 1869, based on the hypothesis that swimming crabs present polymorphism during growth. Our research identified six instars for females, seven instars for males and one instar for unsexed individuals (young). The sixth instar of females and the seventh instar of males were composed of adults. We identified 20 landmarks from the dorsal view, and 16 landmarks from the ventral view. Based on canonical analysis and Procrustes distance, we observed the formation of clearly separated instars (both views), indicating a significant change during ontogeny, not only in the pubertal moult. The most prevalent changes occurred in the abdomen, with males thinning and females broadening the abdomen during growth. In the dorsal view, we observed a displacement of anterolateral spines to the posterior region throughout the growth period and that the anterolateral and frontal teeth of juveniles were more ornate than those of adults. The ontogenetic trajectories for males and females have similar origins and follow different directions over the instars, with maximum distance after the pubertal moult (P < 0.05).


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: R.A. Shinozaki-Mendes, Laboratório de Biologia Pesqueira, Unidade Acadêmica de Serra Talhada, Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Avenida Gregório Ferraz, S/N, José Tomé de Souza Ramos, Postal code 56909-535 Serra Talhada, PE, Brazil email:


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Ontogenetic trajectories in Callinectes danae (Crustacea: Brachyura): sex and age polymorphism

  • R.A. Shinozaki-Mendes (a1) and R. Lessa (a2)


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