DOI: 10.7717/peerj.17065 ISSN: 2167-8359

On population structure and breeding biology of burrowing crab Dotilla blanfordi Alcock, 1900

Krupal Patel, Heris Patel, Daoud Ali, Swapnil Gosavi, Nisha Choudhary, Virendra Kumar Yadav, Kauresh Vachhrajani, Ashish Patel, Dipak Kumar Sahoo, Jigneshkumar Trivedi
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


The present study investigated the population structure and breeding biology of the burrowing brachyuran crab species Dotilla blanfordi Alcock, 1900, which is commonly found on the sandy beach of Bhavnagar, located on the Gulf of Kachchh, Gujarat coast, India.


Monthly sampling was conducted from February 2021 to January 2022 at the time of low tide using three line transects perpendicular to the water line, intercepted by a quadrate (0.25 m2) each at three different levels of the middle intertidal region: 20 m, 70 m, and 120 m. The quadrate area was excavated up to 30 cm and sieved for specimen collection. The collected specimens were categorised into different sexes viz., male, non-ovigerous female, or ovigerous female. For the fecundity study of D. blanfordi, the carapace width (mm) as a measure of size as well as their wet weight (g), size, number, and mass of their eggs were also recorded.


The study revealed sexual dimorphism among the population, with females having significantly smaller sizes as compared to males. The overall population was skewed towards females, with a bimodal distribution of males and females. The occurrence of ovigerous females throughout the year suggests that the population breeds incessantly throughout the year, with the highest occurrence in August and September. A positive correlation was observed between the morphology of crabs (carapace width and wet body weight) and the size, number, and mass of eggs.

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