BIOTIC Species Information for Cancer pagurus
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Researched byKen Neal & Emily Wilson Data supplied byMarLIN
Refereed byThis information is not refereed.
Reproduction/Life History
Reproductive typeGonochoristic
Developmental mechanismPlanktotrophic
Reproductive SeasonWinter Reproductive LocationAs adult
Reproductive frequencyAnnual episodic Regeneration potential No
Life span21-50 years Age at reproductive maturity6-10 years
Generation time11-20 years Fecundity250,000 - 3,000,000 eggs per female
Egg/propagule sizeInsufficient information Fertilization typeInternal
Larvae/Juveniles
Larval/Juvenile dispersal potential>10km Larval settlement periodInsufficient information
Duration of larval stage1-6 months   
Reproduction Preferences Additional InformationMating is by copulation in spring and summer and occurs shortly after the female has moulted (Brown & Bennett, 1980). Females are 'berried' (carrying eggs under the abdomen) for 6-9 months after copulation and release the larvae in late spring/early summer (Thompson et al., 1995). Berried females do not feed, remaining in pits dug in the sediment or under rocks and are unlikely to be caught in a baited pot. As a result, fishing pressure does not affect larval supply (Howard, 1982). Fecundity is between 0.25 and 3 million eggs per female depending on size (Bennett, 1995). Females can store sperm and berried females retained after an experiment went on to produce viable larvae in the following reproductive season without moulting or copulating (Naylor et al., 1999). In the North Sea, berried females migrate offshore to release larvae and then move back inshore to feed (see larval general biology; Nichols et al., 1982).
Reproduction References Edwards, 1979, Bennett, 1995, Nichols et al., 1982, Brown & Bennett, 1980, Howard, 1982, Thompson et al., 1995, Naylor et al., 1999,
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