Varunidae H. Milne-Edwards, 1853, and Ocypodidae Rafinesque, 1815
Varunids and ocypodids are Thoracotremata crabs inhabiting tropical and temperate seas worldwide. The adult forms are mainly semi-terrestrial (e.g. Ocypode, Leptuca, Minuca) and intertidal (e.g. Hemigrapsus, Cyclograpsus, Gaetice), although there are also some catadromous species (e.g. Eriocheir). Larval development is always linked to the sea. Varunidae comprises 160 species, and larval stages are known for 38 of them. For Ocypodidae, data exists on larval stages for 27 out of the 138 described species. In both groups, a combination of larval features exists that allows distinction at a familial level. This leaflet presents the known larval stages of the 11 species, 6 varunids and 5 ocypodids, distributed inICES area: Asthenognathus atlanticus, Brachynotus atlanticus, B. sexdentatus, Eriocheir sinensis, Hemigrapsus sanguineus, H. takanoi, Leptuca pugilator, Minuca minax, M. pugnax, Afruca tangeri, and Ocypode quadrata. The leaflet includes a key to identify zoea and megalopa stages of these species, with some exceptions where no accurate morphological characters are present which would allow clear distinction.
Published under the auspices of the following ICES Steering Group or Committee