Molting of red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) observed by time-lapse video in the laboratory

Molting of red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) observed by time-lapse video in the laboratory

B.G. Stevens

Molting of red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) observed by time-lapse video in the laboratoryThis is part of Crabs in Cold Water Regions: Biology, Management, and Economics
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Description

Molting of six red king crabs was observed and recorded on time-lapse video in January 2000. Three molted during daytime, and three at night under dark red light. A suite of 16 behaviors were exhibited during the 6 hours prior to and one hour after molting, including two behaviors not previously observed: body shaking and leg pumping. During leg pumping, the crab alternately contracted and extended the legs causing the new exoskeleton to bend and fold, thus shortening the legs to enable their extraction from the old exoskeleton. Average time required for ecdysis,from splitting the carapace to complete extrication, was 0.34 hour (20 minutes, 17 seconds).

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