The annual pattern of reproduction of Talitrus saltator (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Talitridae)



The reproductive cycle and breeding biology of Talitrus saltator (Montagu), a supralittoral talitrid amphipod, were investigated over a 15 month period on a sandy beach in the Isle of Man. The species is shown to have an annual, univoltine reproductive cycle with a period of high reproductive activity between May and late August. Two generations are present throughout most of the year and the life spans of female and male T. saltator were calculated to be approximately 18 months and 21 months respectively. Initial juvenile growth was rapid, juveniles attaining sexual differentiation within three to four months of hatching. Juvenile growth rates averaged 5–5 mm in 100 days decreasing to 1–3 mm in 100 days after sexual differentiation at around 8.0 mm.

The relative brood size of incubating females was shown to be dependent on at least two factors, the length of the female and the stage of embryological development of the brood.

It is suggested that photoperiod is the major exogenous factor controlling gonadal maturation and the duration of reproductive activity in T. saltator.