The reproductive biology of Thalamita crenata (Latreille) at Gazi Bay in Kenya
The brachyuran crab Thalamita crenata (Latreille) occurring intertidally along the Kenyan coast was sampled at Gazi over a period of 12 months. The crabs were collected using scoopnets over a distance covering two kilometres along the bay. The carapace was opened up and the state of the ovaries examined during the entire study period. The developmental stages of embryos in females which had extruded their embryos were identified. The minimum size at sexual maturity was related to the state of ovaries. The fecundity of the crabs was obtained by counting the number, weighing the embryo mass and estimating their sizes. Regression analysis was used to estimate the linear relationship between fecundity and carapace width, embryo mass weight and embryo size respectively. A positive relationship was found between fecundity and carapace width, showing that fecundity increases with carapace width (t=9.908; df=205; p<0.001) and between fecundity and embryo mass weight, showing that fecundity increases with embryo mass weight (t=9.55; df=205; p<0.001) while no significant relationship was found between fecundity and embryo size (t=1.04; df=205; p>0.05).