Date of Award

Spring 2010

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Larry G Harris


Populations of the invasive shore crab, Hemigrapsus sanguineus , were studied in northern and southern New England to determine if crabs differ in reproductive behavior or characteristics between these regions. Additionally, effects of temperature on reproductive activity were quantified through laboratory experimentation.

Number of broods per season increased with temperature, but the seasonal total was limited to three broods in laboratory experiments. Broods experienced limited success at the lowest temperature, 10°C. The reproductive season was longer at lower latitudes, and females at this site had smaller average ovigerous size. Patterns of ovigery varied between the regions, suggesting the production of one brood per season in New Hampshire, compared to two to three broods per season in Rhode Island.

Overall, temperature may limit the possibility and degree of reproductive output by females, which may slow the spread or limit establishment of this species in northern latitudes.