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ABSTRACT—Albuneid sand crabs are found in sandy beaches around the world, but little is known about the basic biology of any species in the family. We sampled sand crabs, Lepidopa benedicti, for 2 years at South Padre Island, Texas, at two locations: one developed site near the town, where recreational use is high and one undeveloped site away from the town, where recreational use is lower. We hypothesized that sand crabs would be less abundant and smaller at the developed site than at the undeveloped one. Densities were highest in summer and lowest in winter but did not differ between the two sites. There was no difference in size of individuals at the two locations. Females were significantly more common and larger than males. No ovigerous female was discovered at either location over 2 years of sampling. Individuals at South Padre Island are consistently smaller than those recorded from the northern Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, suggesting the region might have habitat that is low quality for the species.

RESUMEN—Los cangrejos de arena Albun´eidos se encuentran en playas arenosas en todo el mundo, sin embargo se sabe muy poco sobre la biolog´ıa b´asica de las especies en la familia. Muestreamos cangrejos de arena, Lepidopa benedicti, durante 2 a˜nos en la isla South Padre, estado de Texas, en dos lugares: un sitio desarrollado cerca de la ciudad con uso recreativo alto, y otro sitio no desarrollado alejado de la ciudad con menos uso recreativo. Nuestra hip´otesis fue que los cangrejos de arena ser´ıan menos abundantes y m´as peque˜nos en el sitio con recreo m´as alto comparado con el de recreo bajo. La densidad de los cangrejos de arena fue m´as alta en verano y m´as baja en invierno, pero no difiri´o entre los dos sitios. No hubo diferencia en el tama˜no de los individuos entre los dos sitios. Las hembras fueron significativamente m´as comunes y m´as grandes que los machos. No se encontr´o ni una sola hembra ov´ıgera en ning´un sitio durante los 2 a˜nos de muestreo. Los individuos en la isla de South Padre son consistentemente m´as peque˜nos que los registrados en el norte del Golfo de M´exico y en el oc´eano Atl´antico, lo que sugiere que la regi´on podr´ıa presentar un h´abitat de baja calidad para la especie.


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Publication Title

The Southwestern Naturalist



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Biology Commons



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