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Marine Invertebrate Larvae in Hong Kong Waters

Taxonomic Details
Crab Zoeae

Crab Zoeae

The common name "crab" is in fact a general term that encompasses the true crabs (infraorder Brachyura) plus the Infraorder Anomura (the family Porcellanidae, or porcelain crabs, which is also included in this section).

Crabs may go through several larval stages, including 1-5 zoeal stages and usually one megalopa stage, before undergoing their final metamorphosis into a juvenile crab. Both true crabs and porcellanid crabs are therefore meroplankton, i.e. they are temporary plankton and spend only part of their life cycle in the plankton.

In this project, crab zoeae were initially sorted into distinguishable morphological types, or morphotypes. Owing to the paucity of crustacean larval identification keys for the region, some morphotypes could not be identified based on published literature alone and molecular techniques are being applied to determine their identification.

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