Postembryonic development of the Tri-spine Horseshoe Crab Tachypleus tridentatus (Merostomata: Xiphosura) in a nursery habitat in the Philippines

Main Article Content

Dorkas Kaiser
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9897-4860
Sabine Schoppe
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8403-6806

Abstract

Populations of the Tri-spine Horseshoe Crab Tachypleus tridentatus have dramatically decreased over their distribution range and conservation efforts are now crucial.  The implementation of appropriate management strategies and stock assessment rely on accurate growth-rate estimates.  The postembryonic development of the species in the tropics, however, is not elucidated.  To provide the information needed to assess the demographics of juvenile populations and to judge the status of T. tridentatus in the Philippines, we conducted a mark-recapture experiment in a nursery habitat on Palawan Island.  The results obtained during the 10-month period provide the first consecutive data on the stepwise growth of the species in the Philippines and the first near comprehensive dataset collected within a single population of juveniles in the tropics.  By analyzing size-frequency (prosomal width) distributions of 853 individuals and by using 94 juveniles that molted during the study, 13 molt stages were differentiated.  Based on the intermolt periods of six instars, we estimated the growth curve of T. tridentatus following two models (non-linear and power function).  The data support the assumption that growth continues year-round in the tropics and also indicate that the average age of mature male and female T. tridentatus in the Philippines ranges from three to four years.  The agreement with a field study in Japan suggests that 14 postembryonic stages may be characteristic for the development of natural populations throughout the range of the species.  Though more data are needed to validate these results, the study provides a sound baseline for future studies in the tropics.

Article Details

How to Cite
[1]
Kaiser, D. and Schoppe, S. 2018. Postembryonic development of the Tri-spine Horseshoe Crab Tachypleus tridentatus (Merostomata: Xiphosura) in a nursery habitat in the Philippines. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 10, 15 (Dec. 2018), 12916–12932. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.4125.10.15.12916-12932.
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Author Biographies

Dorkas Kaiser, Institute of Biosciences, University of Rostock, Rostock 18051, Germany; Katala Foundation Inc., Puerto Princesa City, Santa Monica, 5300 Palawan, Philippines .

In 2001: MSc, Institute of Biosciences, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany

In 2017: None. Former PhD and for publication still working with Prof. Dr. K. Eduard Linsenmair, University of Würzburg, Department of Animal Ecology and Tropical Biology, 97074 Würzburg, Germany

Permanent address: Stauffenbergstr. 70/1, 72074 Tübingen, Germany

 

 

Sabine Schoppe, Western Philippines University, Puerto Princesa City, Aborlan, Palawan 5302, Philippines; Katala Foundation Inc., Puerto Princesa City, Santa Monica, 5300 Palawan, Philippines

In 2001: Guest Professor, Western Philippines University, Puerto Princesa City, 5300 Palawan

In 2017: Associate Professor, Western Philippines University, Puerto Princesa City, 5300 Palawan

Project Director, PFTCP/Katala Foundation, Puerto Princesa City, 5300 Palawan

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