Relative pleopod length as an indicator of size at sexual maturity in slipper (Scyllarides squammosus) and spiny Hawaiian (Panulirus marginatus) lobsters

DeMartini, Edward E. and McCracken, Marti L. and Moffitt, Robert B. and Wetherall, Jerry A. (2005) Relative pleopod length as an indicator of size at sexual maturity in slipper (Scyllarides squammosus) and spiny Hawaiian (Panulirus marginatus) lobsters. Fishery Bulletin, 103(1), pp. 23-33.

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Abstract

Body size at gonadal maturity is described for females of the slipper lobster (Scyllarides squammosus) (Scyllaridae) and the endemic Hawaiian spiny lobster (Panulirus marginatus) (Palinuridae) based on microscopic examination of histological preparations of ovaries. These data are used to validate several morphological metrics (relative exopodite length, ovigerous condition) of functional sexual maturity. Relative exopodite length (“pleopod length”) produced consistent estimates of size at maturity when evaluated with a newly derived statistical application for estimating size at the morphometric maturation point (MMP) for the population, identified as the midpoint of a sigmoid function spanning the estimated boundaries of overlap between the largest immature and smallest adult animals. Estimates of the MMP were related to matched (same-year) characterizations of sexual maturity based on ovigerous condition — a more conventional measure of functional maturity previously used to characterize maturity for the two lobster species. Both measures of functional maturity were similar for the respective species and were within 5% and 2% of one another for slipper and spiny lobster, respectively. The precision observed for two shipboard collection series of pleopod-length data indicated that the method is reliable and not dependent on specialized expertise. Precision of maturity estimates for S. squammosus with the pleopod-length metric was similar to that for P. marginatus with any of the other measures (including conventional evidence of ovigerous condition) and greatly exceeded the precision of estimates for S. squammosus based on ovigerous condition alone. The two measures of functional maturity averaged within 8% of the estimated size at gonadal maturity for the respective species. Appendage-to-body size proportions, such as the pleopod length metric, hold great promise, particularly for species of slipper lobsters like S. squammosus for which there exist no other reliable conventional morphological measures of sexual maturity. Morphometric proportions also should be included among the factors evaluated when assessing size at sexual maturity in spiny lobster stocks; previously, these proportions have been obtained routinely only for brachyuran crabs within the Crustacea.

Item Type: Article
Title: Relative pleopod length as an indicator of size at sexual maturity in slipper (Scyllarides squammosus) and spiny Hawaiian (Panulirus marginatus) lobsters
Personal Creator/Author:
CreatorsEmail
DeMartini, Edward E.
McCracken, Marti L.
Moffitt, Robert B.
Wetherall, Jerry A.
Refereed: Yes
Journal or Publication Title: Fishery Bulletin
Volume: 103
Number: 1
Page Range: pp. 23-33
Date: 2005
ISSN: 0090-0656
Issuing Agency: United States National Marine Fisheries Service
Subjects: Biology
Ecology
Fisheries
Item ID: 9638
Depositing User: Patti M. Marraro
Date Deposited: 13 Aug 2012 16:07
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2012 16:07
URI: http://aquaticcommons.org/id/eprint/9638

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