Ana Tavares (CIBIO-InBIO/UP) | April 23, 2015 – 14h30 | CIBIO-InBIO’s Auditorium, Campus de Vairão




Among the true crabs (Decapoda, Brachyura), the spider crabs (Majoidea) are one of the most diverse groups. For a few commercially exploited species (eg., the genus Maja Lamarck, 1801), there is already a lot of information published concerning larval biology, patterns of diversity and genetic differentiation. Although the interest in this group is growing, there is still a lack of information about genetic structure and variability for smaller (non-commercially exploited) majoid species.
The genus Acanthonyx Latreille, 1828 has a world-wide distribution. In the Atlantic-Mediterranean region, only one species is known to occur – A. lunulatus (Risso, 1816) – and is thought to extend southwards to Angola/Namibia (Cunene River). Our initial main interest was to analyse the phylogeography of A. lunulatus in the Atlantic-Mediterranean (AM) region, to contrast its genetic differentiation patterns with other crustaceans that have no larval planktonic stage. A. lunulatus larvae have a moderately small planktonic larvae duration (PLD) among decapods. However, in the course of this study, we realized that there are three divergent genetic lineages in the AM region, that may correspond to known or unknown species.


Ana Tavares graduated in Biology from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (Portugal). Currently she is a second year MSc student in “Master in Biological Aquatic Resources” at the University of Porto and a member of Ecology and Evolution of Aquatic Organisms (AGE) group in CIBIO-InBIO. She is currently under supervision of Dr. António Múrias dos Santos (CIBIO-InBIO) and Pilar Cabezas Rodríguez (CIBIO-InBIO).


Image credits: © W. Bay-Nouailaht