Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Biological Bulletin





First Page


Last Page



The first and second zoeae of Pinnotheres ostreum have been described Hyman (1924). The five crab stages parasitic in the oyster (Ostrea virginica) have been described by Stauber (1945). The present paper is an attempt to plete the knowledge of the development of the oyster crab from the egg to the first crab instar. This work was done at the Virginia Fisheries Laboratory in summer of 1944, under the direction of Dr. Curtis L. Newcombe.

The first Pinnotherid larva to be described was the zoea of Pinnotheres pisum Leach, the British pea crab. This species has three or more zoeae. Other mem- bers of the family are said to have two, three or four zoeal stages; in some species a megalops stage has been described, while one at least is said to pass directly from the last zoea to the first crab. The family Pinnotheridae is noted for the great diversity of the zoeae in different species, and this lack of uniformity seems to apply also to the number of larval stages. Faxon (1879) stated that the last zoea of Pinnixa chaetopterana molted directly into a first crab stage, without a megalops stage. Smith (1880) found a megalops in another species of Pinnixa. There are only two published descriptions of Pinnotherid megalops: Pinnotheres veterum by Lebour (1928) and Pinnotheres taylori by Hart (1935). In the latter there are two zoeae and one megalop

Publication Statement

Contribution (Virginia Fisheries Laboratory) ; no. 27