Fecundity of the crab, Potamon mesopotamicum Brandis, Storch & Turkay, 1998 from the Mesopotamian Marshlands, Iraq

Main Article Content

Malik H. Ali
Tariq H.Y. Al-Maliky


The Mesopotamian Marshlands of Iraq are the largest unique wetland in the Western Eurasia and have been subjected to great environmental changes which affected the population of the native crab, Potamon mesopotamicum. The fecundity of this species was studied as a basic indicator of their reproductive status. In the present study, the relationship between some biometric parameters and fecundity of the crab P. mesopotamicum from Tigirs river of Qurna City, Iraq was determined. A total of 32 live ovigerious females were collected from Tigris river at Qurna city in December 2009. Fecundity ranged from 340 eggs per female (4.6 cm CW) to 800 eggs per female (6.6 cm CW), with an estimated mean of 568 eggs per female. Positive significant linear relationships were found between fecundity and carapace length (CL): y= 155.15x -145, r= 0.62, p < 0.001, n= 32; carapace width (CW); y= 143.31x – 221.5, r= 0.66, p< 0.001, n=32; Abdomen width (AW): y=212.3x – 104.3, r= 0.61, p< 0.001, n= 32. The best correlation was found between CW and fecundity; Fresh weight (FW): y= 4.30x + 280.80, r= 0.67,  p< 0.001, n= 32. Females were found to bear egg masses ranging between 2.0 and 3.35 gm.  A mean egg diameter of 2.066 ± 0.105 mm. was estimated for different egg stages.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details



1. Ali, M.H., Salman, D.S. & Al-Adhub, Y.A. 1995. Population dynamics of the hymemosomatid crab Elamenopsis kempi in a brackish subtidal region of Basrah, Iraq. Scientia Marina, 59 (1): 1-13.

2. Brandis, D., V. Storch & Turkay, 1998. The status the freshwater crab populations of the Khabur River. Journ. Nat. Hist., 32: 1439-1445.

3. Brandis, D., V. Storch & Turkay, 2000. Taxonomy and zoogeography of the freshwater crab of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East Crastacea: Decapoda, Potamidae. Senckenbergiana boil., 80:5-56.

4. Cobo, V.J. & Okamori, C.M. 2008. Fecundity of the spider crab Mithraculus forceps (Decapoda, Mithracidae) from the northeastern coast of the state of Sao Panlo, Brazil. Iheringia, Ser. Zool. Porto Alegre, 98 (1): 84-87, 30 de marco de 2008.

5. Cumberlidge, N. 2008. Insular species of Afro tropical freshwater crabs (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Potamonautidae and Potamidae) with special reference to Madagascar and the Seychelles, Contribution to Zoology, 77 (2): 1-11.

6. Gui-gui, Y., Xu-gan, W., Xiao-zhen, Y., Yong-xu, C. and Chun-lin, W. 2007. The second ovarian development of swimming crab, Portunus trituberculatus. Zoological Research, 28 (4): 423-429.

7. Liu, H.C. & Li., C.W. 2000. Reproduction in the freshwater crab Candidopotamon rathbune (Brachyura: Potamidae) in Taiwan. J. Crust. Biol., 20: 89-99.

8. Micheli, F., Gherardi, F. & Vannini, M. 1990. Growth and reproduction in the freshwater crab, Potamon fluviatile (Decapoda, Brachyura). Freshwater Biology, 23: 491-503.

9. Munro, D.C., & Toaron, H. 1997. The Estimation of Marshland Degradation in Southern Iraq using Multitemporal Landsat TM Images. International J. of Remote Sensing, 18 (7): 1597-1606.

10. Naser, M.D. 2009. First record of freshwater crab, Potamon mesopotamicum Brandis, Storch & Turkay, 1998 (Decapoda, Brachyura, Potamidae) from the AL-Huwaizah marshes Iraq. Crusta., 82 (12): 1566-1602.

11. Partow, H. 2001. The Mesopotamia Marshlands: Demise of an ecosystem. UNEP Publication UNEP/DEWA/TR-01-3. Nairobi, Kenya: division of early warning and assessment, UNEP.

12. Rana, A.R., Bahuguna, S. & Singh, S. 2016. Relation between biometric parameters and fecundity of crab Potamon koolooense (Rathbun, 1904) from hillstream Khoh of uttarakhand, India. Inter. J. Fish. Aquat. Studies, 4 (2): 278-281.

13. Shaw, J. 1959. Solute and water balance in the muscle fibers of the East African freshwater crab, Potamon niloticus (M. Edw.). J. Exp. Biol., 36: 126-144.

14. Solong, B.S. 2015. Taxonomical study of Crustaceans (Malacostacea) in Al-assi vally and determination of fecundity of freshwater crab Potamon potamios (Olivier, 1804). Master thesis, Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Tishreen University, Syria: 1436 pp.

15. Srivasteva, O.P. 2005. Freshwater crabs (Polamonids) in the collection of the Southern regional station, zoological survey of India, Chennai. Rec. Zool. Surv. India, 124 (Part 1-21): 115-122.

16. Zar, T.H. 2010. Biostatistical Analysis, Person Education International, 944 pp.