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The Reproductive Biology of Snow Crab, Chionoecetes opilio: A Synthesis of Recent Contributions

Robert W. Elner and Peter G. Beninger
American Zoologist
Vol. 32, No. 3 (1992), pp. 524-533
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3883634
Page Count: 10
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The Reproductive Biology of Snow Crab, Chionoecetes opilio: A Synthesis of Recent Contributions
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Abstract

The existing literature concerning reproduction of snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio) is critically reviewed and discussed in the context of recent conceptual paradigms and ongoing research. The functional anatomy of the male and female reproductive systems is presented and interpreted in terms of the various mating pathways available to this species. Hypotheses to account for immediate and delayed fertilization are presented. The possible adaptive values of spermatophore storage and a novel mechanism for ensuring last male precedence are explored. In addition to critical gaps in our understanding of reproduction in snow crab and other brachyurans, ambiguities in current concepts and terminology are highlighted. Directions for future research which addresses central problems of snow crab reproductive biology are suggested.

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