Reproductive Biology

Females mate in a hard-shell condition throughout the year. Mating is initiated by the male, who pries the female out of the sand and maneuvers her into position. After mating, the female reburies herself and the male guards her. Males appear unable to distinguish the sex of prospective mates and often pry up other males. Brood size ranges from 80,000-150,000; eggs take 39-44 days to hatch and females spend much of this time buried. There are eight zoeal stages and a megalops stage; larval development takes 1-1.5 months.

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