Journal article

Muddy waters: An assessment of the suitability of zygocardiac ossicles for direct age estimation in the Giant mud crab Scylla serrata

David A Crook, Brendan J Adair, Mark A Grubert, Thor M Saunders, John R Morrongiello, Michael M Douglas, Alison J King



A fundamental characteristic of calcified structures commonly used for direct age estimation in animals is that new material is accreted cumulatively and preserved across ontogeny, thus allowing growth marks to be reliably observed and counted. Direct age estimation in crustaceans has been problematic due to molting of calcified structures across ontogeny; however, recent studies suggest that gastric ossicle tissue is retained through molts and can be used for age estimation. We evaluate the use of sectioned gastric ossicles for direct aging of the Giant mud crab Scylla serrata. Sectioned zygocardiac ossicles from crabs collected in northern Australia are analyzed to determine: (1) whether p..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC)

Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Skye Barrett (FRDC) for project oversight and members of the Northern Territory Research Advisory Committee for their ongoing support and interest in the project. Staff from NTDPIR assisted in the collection of samples and we acknowledge the fishers who provided samples from the commercial fishery. This research was funded by the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation (FRDC), Project 2015/012, with support from Charles Darwin University and the Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Resources (NTDPIR).