Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Species composition and abundance of the benthic community of Axiidea and Gebiidea (Crustacea: Decapoda) in the Marapanim Bay, Amazon estuary, northern Brazil

Costa Silva, DalilaMoretto Martinelli-Lemos, Jussara

The thalassinideans (Axiidea and Gebiidea) encompasses approximately 615 species with reclusive habits, generally confined to extensive galleries burrowed into the sand or mud and, more rarely, in openings in reefs or the cavities of sessile animals such as sponges and coral. These species use the galleries for shelter, feeding and breeding, except during the pelagic larval stage. They inhabit estuaries, bays, lagoons, beaches, seas and both tropical and temperate oceanic areas throughout the world, distributed predominantly in the intertidal zone (mid-littoral and infralittoral zones). The aim of the present study was to assess the species composition and abundance of thalassinideans, comparing two micro-habitats (consolidated and non-consolidated substrates), and determine whether there is a correlation between abundance of the organisms and time of the year, collection sites or salinity. Twelve monthly samplings were carried out between August 2006 and July 2007 over consolidated and non-consolidated bottoms of the upper and lower portions of the mid-littoral zones, with three sub-samplings, totaling 48 monthly samples and 576 in all. A total of 651 individuals were collected - 114 Lepidophthalmus siriboia Felder & Rodrigues, 1993 and 537 Upogebia vasquezi Ngoc-Ho, 1989. There was correlation between the abundance of both species and salinity, but U. vasquezi was more abundant in the rainy season. Lepidophthalmus siriboia appears to prefer non-consolidated substrates, whereas U. vasquezi prefers consolidated substrates. The recruitment period for the callianassid L. siriboia appears to occur in just two periods of the year and is more intense in the dry season, whereas U. vasquezi is more frequent throughout the year. The smallest and largest sizes (carapace length - CL) recorded for L. siriboia were smaller than those recorded for the species in northeastern region of Brazil. CL values for ovigerous females suggest that U. vasquezi reaches sexual maturity at a smaller size than L. siriboia.

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