Factors affecting the circatidal rhythm in vertical swimming of ovigerous blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, involved in the spawning migration
Ovigerous blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, are observed to undergo nocturnal ebb-tide transport (ETT) during their seaward spawning migration. A previous study found that females undergoing the spawning migration have a circatidal rhythm in vertical swimming, which serves as the biological basis for ETT. The present study asked three questions about this endogenous rhythm. First, does the rhythm occur in females with mature embryos regardless of whether they are undergoing ETT? Second, when exposed to a light/dark cycle in the laboratory, do ovigerous females only swim vertically at the time of ebb tide during the dark phase? Third, do attachments to the backs of ovigerous crabs affect the circatidal rhythm? The circatidal rhythm occurred in all crabs with mid-stage embryos that were prevented from undergoing ETT. The rhythm was unaffected by the light/dark cycle, which implies that migration can occur at lower light levels at depth during the day. Finally, attachments did not affect the rhythm, which suggests that tags and transmitters will not affect the spawning migration. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)