Date of Award

Fall 1987

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

John R. McConaugha

Committee Member

Anthony J. Provenzano

Committee Member

Carvel Blair

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35H38


The present study examines the hypothesis that mature female blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, do not have a terminal anecdysis. Induced molting via eyestalk ablation, size frequency distributions and gonad and limb regeneration indices from field collected animals are used as indicators of potential post maturity molts.

Eyestalk ablation of mature females resulted in ecdysis approximately 51 days after ablation, indicating a physiological ability if mature females to complete ecdysis. Analysis of size frequency distributions indicates two distinct shifts from smaller to larger females, one in early spring and a second in early fall. While migration of larger females into the study area can not be ruled out, the data suggest molting activity within the sample population, 11.2% of the animals had regenerating limb buds (R - 0.5 to 5.4). Formation of limb buds is not encountered in species known to have a terminal molt at maturity.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).