AbstractsBiology & Animal Science


Tasmania, which lies within the cool temperate Maugean marine province of Australia, possesses nine species of grapsid crabs and two ocypodids. Like related species in other parts of the world they are almost entirely confined to the littoral zone where they are the dominant brachyurans. The report is divide into three main parts. Throughout, the results of these studies are compared with similar investigations on other Brachyura and, where applicable, other animals in general. In dealing with the taxonomy of the species, particular attention is paid to the geographically widespread groups of species: Leptograpsus variegatus (Fabricius), Cyclograpsus oranulosus H.Milne Edwards and the congeneric species in the southern Indo-Pacific, Placusia capensis de Haan and its close relative, P. dentipes de Haan. There are marked changes with growth in most of these species and in several, some characters vary clinally. C.granulosus and the warm temperate Australian C.audouinii show marked character divergence towards their region of sympatry. The grapsid and ocypodid fauna of Tasmania is zoogeographically most closely related to that of the Australian mainland; there are some similarities to, and some important differences from, those of other temperate regions outside Australia, particularly New Zealand.