Muhmin Michael E. Manting, Marilu D. Dimalen, Zaira Mae C. Villaflores, Zeus S. Elumba


The stages of egg development in the mole crab, Hippa pacifica (Dana 1852), were described and classified in this study. Twenty gravid female mole crabs that inhabited the intertidal zone in the sandy beach of Magoong, Linamon, Lanao del Norte were collected. The animal exhibited adaptation such as protective coloration for survival. Eggs were found at the ventral portion of the animal where they are protected by telson and pleopods. Examination of most of the spongy egg masses showed that the eggs are isolecithal and in the same stage of development suggesting for a synchrony between the developing eggs in a single crab. Cleavage pattern as observed is holoblastic. Eggs from different mole crabs are from various developmental stages suggesting that breeding activity in this species might be a continuous process and might occur all year round. The eggs were classified into eight stages starting from the stage where yellow yolk granules can be seen and the egg masses appear bright orange in color to the stage where the egg masses turn pale grey in color and the embryo is almost completely developed. Egg developmental stages were seen to be the same with that of the mole crab Emerita asiatica. However, differences were observed when it was compared with the blue king crab Paralithodes platypus. Further studies should be conducted to determine the reproductive biology of this species of mole crab.


mole crab, Hippa pacifica, egg development, classification

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