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

Full Text:



Anger, K., Lovrich, G., Thatje, S., Calcagno, J. (2004). Larval and early juvenile development of Lithodes santolla (Molina, 1782) (Decapoda: Anomura: Lithodidae) reared at different temperatures in the laboratory. J. Exp. Mar. Biol. Ecol. 306, 217-230.

Boolootian, R., Giese, A., Farmanfarmian, A., and Tucker, J. (1959). Reproductive cycles of five west coast crabs. Physiological Zoology, 32, 213–220.

Costello, D. and Henley C. (1971). Methods for obtaining and handling marine eggs and Embryos. Woods Hole, MA: Marine Biological Laboratory, 247.

Eickstaedt, L. (1969). The reproductive biology of the sand crab Emerita analoga. Stimpson. Ph. D. Thesis, Stanford University, 100 pp.

Gilbert S.F. (2005). Developmental Biology. 7th Edition. Sinauer Associates, Incorporated, Publishers Sunderland, Massachusetts.

Guerrero, M.G., and Hendrickx M.E. (2006). Embryology of decapod crustaceans III: Embryonic development of Eurypanopeus canalensis Abele & Kim, 1989, and Panopeus chilensis H. Milne Edwards & Lucas,1844 (Decapoda, Brachyura, Panopeidae). Belg. J. Zool., 136 (2): 249-253.

Kogane, T., K. Hamasaki, K. Nogami. (2005). Effect of temperature on survival and developmental period of larval snow crab Chinoecetes opilio (Brachyura: Majidae) reared in the laboratory. Nippon Suisan Gakkai Shi 71, 161-164.

Nakanishi, T. (1981). The effect of temperature on growth, survival, and oxygen consumption of larvae and post-larvae of Paralithodes brevipes (Decapoda: Anomura). Bull. Jap. Sea. Reg. Fish. Res. Lab. 32, 49-56.

Sarker, M., Islam, M., and Uehara, T. (2009). Artificial insemination and early embryonic development of the mangrove crab, Perisesarma bidens (De Haan) (Crustacea: Brachyura). Zoological studies.

Shimek, R.L. (2008). A spineless column. Reefkeeping, an on line magazine for the marine aquarist. Reefkeeping magazine. Reef Central. Retrieved from

Stevens, B.G. (2006). Embryo development and morphometry in the blue king crab Paralithodes platypus studied by using image and cluster analysis. Journal of Shellfish Research, 25 (2), 569-576.

Subramoniam, T. (1979). Some aspects of reproductive ecology of a mole crab, Emerita asiatica Milne Edwards. J. Exp. Mar. Biol., Ecol., 36, 259-268.

Webb, J.B., Eckert, G.I., Shirley, T.C. and Tamone., S.L. (2007). Changes in embryonic development and hatching in Chionoecetes opilio (Snow Crab) with variation in incubation and temperature. Biol. Bull., 213, 67-75.

Wenner, A. M. (1972). Incremental color change in an Anomuran decapod Hippa pacifica Dana. Pacific Science, 26 (3), 346-353.


  • There are currently no refbacks.