Studies on the allometric growth of the caramote prawn Melicertus kerathurus (Decapoda, Penaeidae) in Western Greece (E. Mediterranean)
The relative growth of eleven body parts (carapace length, height, width, abdominal length, height and width, rostral length and telson length) of males and females of the caramote prawn Melicertus kerathurus was studied in samples from the Amvrakikos Gulf (Western Greece, E. Mediterranean). In addition to this, the relative growth of the length and the maximum width – and consequently the surface - of the appendix masculina of males was also studied. In general, both sexes showed similar patterns of relative growth. However, the females’ body appendages were significantly greater than those of the males. A negative allometry of escaping appendages (telson), abdomen (related to the metabolic processes, rapid locomotion and reproduction), rostrum, appendix masculina (related to mating and sperm transfer) and carapace height and width was found in both sexes. The biometric studies in this species in the central and western Mediterranean are in agreement with those from the eastern part of the basin, suggesting that all the populations throughout the Mediterranean could be considered as uniform.