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MORPHOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF JUVENILES OF Xiphopenaeus dincao CARVALHO-BATISTA, TEROSSI, ZARA, MANTELATTO & COSTA, 2020 AND X. kroyeri (HELLER, 1862) FOR AN ECOLOGICAL AND POPULATION ASSESSMENT

Grant number: 23/16546-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2024
Effective date (End): March 31, 2027
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Morphology of Recent Groups
Principal Investigator:Rogério Caetano da Costa
Grantee:Milena Silva Jaconis
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências (FC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/13685-5 - Integrative analysis of the Brazilian fauna of decapod crustaceans: taxonomy, phylogenetic systematics, spermiotaxonomy, morphology of post-embryonic development, ecology and conservation, AP.BTA.TEM

Abstract

The sea-bob shrimp, Xiphopenaeus kroyeri sensu lato, represents a complex of subpopulations widely exploited as a fisheries resource. Recently, three new species were described for the genus in the Atlantic Ocean. However, morphological identification among them was based on secondary sexual characters, with limited progress in separating juvenile individuals. Two of these species, X. dincao and X. kroyeri, occur sympatrically over a wide geographic range from Colombia to the southeastern region of Brazil. Considering the lack of information about the juveniles of these species, identifying this demographic group is essential to assess whether the recruitment period is being protected during offseason. In this context, the present study aims to morphologically identify the juvenile demographic group of X. dincao and X. kroyeri, characterizing the development of sexual structures from their origin and seeking other diagnostic characters that may be useful in species identification. After identification, the ecology and population dynamics of all demographic groups will be assessed. Juvenile individuals of both species will be initially collected in two locations, Ubatuba Bay and Cananéia (Cananéia-Iguape estuarine-lagoon system and adjacent marine area) with samplings during the autumn season. In Stage 1, molecular analyses will be conducted for the initial separation of species, followed by CT-scan and scanning electron microscopy analyses to obtain the ontogeny of sexual structures. In Stage 2, geometric morphometric and comparative morphology analyses will be performed. In Stages 3 and 4, monthly collections will be carried out over a year in Cananéia to assess the spatiotemporal abundance of demographic groups under the influence of environmental variables. Additionally, analyses of recruitment, growth, longevity, and total, natural, and fishing mortality will be undertaken to analyze the population dynamics and the actual threat and conservation status of stocks, aiming for their preservation.

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