alexa Trailing the Spawning Horseshoe Crab Tachypleus Gigas (Müller, 1785) at Designated Natal Beaches on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia
ISSN: 2168-9296

Cell & Developmental Biology
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Trailing the Spawning Horseshoe Crab Tachypleus Gigas (Müller, 1785) at Designated Natal Beaches on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia

Azwarfarid Manca1, Faridah Mohamad1, Bryan Raveen Nelson2* Muhd Fawwaz Afham Mohd Sofa1, Amirul Asyraf Alia’m3, Noraznawati Ismail3
1Horseshoe Crab Research Group, School of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
2Horseshoe Crab Research Group, Institute of Tropical Aquaculture, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
3Horseshoe Crab Research Group, Institute of Marine Biotechnology, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, 21030, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Corresponding Author : Bryan Raveen Nelson
Institute of Tropical Aquaculture
Universiti Malaysia Terengganu
21030, Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia
Tel: 60165495868
E-mail: [email protected]
Received March 09, 2016; Accepted March 25, 2016; Published April 02, 2016
Citation: Manca A, Mohamad F, Nelson BR, Mohd Sofa MFA, Alia’m AA, et al. (2016) Trailing the Spawning Horseshoe Crab Tachypleus gigas (Müller, 1795) at Designated Natal Beaches on the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Cell Dev Biol 5:171. doi:10.4172/2168-9296.1000171
Copyright: © 2016 Manca A, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Abstract

Due to limited availability of literature on the spawning activity of Malaysian horseshoe crab, Tachypleus gigas (Müller, 1785), the reproduction behaviour and biology of this arthropod remains poorly understood. Hence, an investigation was carried out from April-July to trail spawning horseshoe crab amplexus at Balok and Cherating, the only known T. gigas spawning grounds on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Through visual tracking during daytime full moon spring tides, the release of air bubbles indicate nest digging by female crabs. While air bubble formation aggravated, flagged aluminium poles were carefully driven into the sediment to mark the nest. Out of the 13 spawning T. gigas amplexus tracked, only one pair was able to dig up to 12 nests and release up to 2,575 eggs within the 2.5 hour spawning period. The female crabs dug nests at the intertidal regions, ranging 1.3-43.2 m from the highest tide marking on the beach. Interestingly after spawning, the horseshoe crabs returned to high seas during the residing tides as amplexus because the male crabs remained clinging onto the female crab’s opisthosoma. The incidence of recapturing a tagged female crab with different attached male crab at Cherating indicates this spawning ground as natal beach. In addition, the presence of 8 horseshoe crab amplexus at Balok compared to only 5 amplexus at Cherating highlight preferable beach settings for spawning and/or the presence of larger spawning crab assemblages at the former beach. Since only 13 spawning horseshoe crab pairs were witnessed at Balok and Cherating, identification of factors that alter beach sediment composition and water chemistry as well as gender-specific poaching and excessive boating activities should be regulated to restore wild T. gigas populations.

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