Alternate Title

Population Biology of the Ghost Shrimp Sergio trilobata (Biffar 1970) (Crustacea: Decapoda: Thalassinidea)

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Sergio trilobata is a common burrowing crustacean found in Tampa Bay, Lemon Bay, and Miami, Florida, where it inhabits mainly intertidal soft sediments (Biffar 1971, Manning and Lemaitre 1993 ). Although S. trilobata is a dominant member of the benthic community, very little is known about population dynamics and reproduction of these thalassinideans. The population biology of this ghost shrimp was examined over a period of a year and a half to gain understanding of its life history. Seasonal variation in the proportion of individuals in each size class was observed during the study, suggesting that there may be environmental factors affecting the ghost shrimp. Additionally, a life span of approximately two years is indicated by the seasonal variation in the proportion of individuals in each size class. The population was biased toward females with a 1:1.81 male: female ratio, and the mean total length of females (68.2 mm) was larger than the males collected (54.6 mm) (P = 0.0001). Collection of ovigerous females were directly correlated with an increasing ovary width of females during the preceding months, and the total length of S. trilobata was positively correlated with the number of eggs produced. Mean number of eggs per female S. trilobata was 197 with a maximum of 412 eggs.

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