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1 April 2017 Difference in Body Size and Sexual Dimorphism in the Ogasawara Mitten Crab, Eriocheir ogasawaraensis, and the Japanese Mitten Crab, Eriocheir japonica
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Abstract
To highlight adaptation of an endemic species to an oceanic island environment, adult morphological characteristics and growth patterns were compared between a mitten crab endemic to the Ogasawara Islands (Eriocheir ogasawaraensis) and a congener from mainland Japan (E. japonica). Mean carapace width of E. ogasawaraensis was nearly 1.6 times larger than that of E. japonica in both sexes. A difference was detected in the carapace length versus carapace width relationship between these two species. Comparing chela propodus height versus carapace width, a sexual difference was detected similarly in both species, but males had only one growth phase in E. ogasawaraensis, whereas males of E. japonica were dimorphic due to two growth phases. The regression line obtained for male E. ogasawaraensis (chela propodus height versus carapace width) was nearly on the extending line of small-phase male E. japonica. Female E. ogasawaraensis had relatively larger chelipeds than female E. japonica. As for ambulatory legs, E. japonica males had relatively longer legs than females, but no sexual difference was detected in E. ogasawaraensis. Eriocheir ogasawaraensis had relatively shorter legs than male E. japonica but longer legs than female E. japonica. Therefore, in E. ogasawaraensis sexual dimorphism was not as differentiated as in E. japonica, and the adult male dimorphism recognized in E. japonica was absent. The large body size of E. ogasawaraensis is consistent with island gigantism that is commonly found in response to a lack of large predators on isolated islands. Evolution of dimorphism can be explained by sexual selection, and the differences between the island and mainland species are presumed to be correlated with differences in the mating behavior and/or environmental factors in their habitats.
© 2017 by University of Hawai‘i Press
Satoshi Kobayashi and Kiyoshi Satake "Difference in Body Size and Sexual Dimorphism in the Ogasawara Mitten Crab, Eriocheir ogasawaraensis, and the Japanese Mitten Crab, Eriocheir japonica," Pacific Science 71(2), (1 April 2017). https://doi.org/10.2984/71.2.6
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