Research Output

Life-history, movement, and habitat use of Scylla serrata (Decapoda, Portunidae): current knowledge and future challenges.

  The mud crab Scylla serrata is a highly exploited species, associated to mangrove ecosystems in the Indo-West-Pacific. It has a complex life cycle with a dispersing larvae phase, and benthic juveniles and adults. The former are stenohaline depending on high-salinity conditions to survive, whereas the latter are physiologically well adapted to changing temperatures and salinities, conditions that typically occur in mangrove habitats. Movement and habitat use of large juveniles and adults are well studied, and these life stages are known to utilize and move between various habitats within the mangrove ecosystem: intertidal flats as well as subtidal channels and flats. Females undertake long movements from brackish inshore waters to waters with oceanic conditions for spawning.
Sensory abilities—of early stages and adult stages— have hardly been studied, and little is known about larval and early benthic stages in the wild. Summarizing, the literature revealed substantial gaps in the understanding of the spatiotemporal dynamics of the
different life stages and of the clues that trigger recruitment, movement, and other behavior. This is the first comprehensive review on the life history, movement patterns, habitat use, and systemic role of S. serrata with emphasis on the respective life stages and geographic differences. We emphasize the need for
further research into these processes as a basis for the sustainable management and conservation of this species.

  • Type:


  • Date:

    11 July 2015

  • Publication Status:


  • Publisher

    Springer Verlag

  • DOI:


  • Cross Ref:


  • ISSN:


  • Library of Congress:

    QH301 Biology

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    593 Marine & seashore invertebrates

  • Funders:

    Marine Alliance for Science & Technology for Scotland (Hosted by St Andrew's University)


Alberts-Hubatsch, H., Lee, S. Y., Meynecke, J., Diele, K., Nordhaus, I., & Wolff, M. (2016). Life-history, movement, and habitat use of Scylla serrata (Decapoda, Portunidae): current knowledge and future challenges. Hydrobiologia, 763(1), 5-21.



Behaviour; life-cycle; habitat shift; ontogenetic shift;

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