Spatial distribution and egg production in squat lobsters (Decapoda: Munididae, Munidopsidae) from the collection of São Paulo Museum, Brazil

Patricio Hernaez


Spatial distribution and egg production of squat lobsters is examined from specimens deposited in the collection of the Zoology Museum from the University of São Paulo, Brazil. A total of 1346 specimens of squat lobsters were analyzed, out of which 169 were ovigerous females. Ovigerous females contained ten species of Munididae and three of Munidopsidae. Eleven of the thirteen studied species were distributed along the Brazilian coast, while two of the remaining species in other marine regions. The analysis of bathymetric distribution revealed the presence of four species on continental shelf (< 200m depth: M. spinifrons, M. pusilla, M. irrasa, M. flinti), two on first layer of the continental slope (200-500m: Munida forceps, A. longipes) and five distributed between 500 and 1048m (M. erinacea, M. constricta, M. valida, M. microphthalma, M. transtridens). Overall, species belonging to Munididae produced a higher number of eggs (554 ± 619 eggs) but minor size (0.48 ± 0.119 mm) than species of Munidopsidae (13 ± 10 eggs; 1.12 ± 0.337 mm, respectively). Such tendency is consistent with the phylogeny of both clades whose common origin is reflect in morphological similarities both in larval and adult forms, but not in terms of the reproductive strategy that clearly separates the species belonging to these families. Our results also demonstrate that egg size in squat lobsters is strongly associated with the depth, which suggest the strong influence of habitat on the duration of larval development of these species.

Iheringia Série Zoologia

Museu de Ciências Naturais, Fundação Zoobotânica do Rio Grande do Sul

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