n African Zoology - Estuarine macrocrustacea of Richards Bay Harbour, South Africa, with particular reference to the penaeid prawns

Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X
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Macrocrustacea of Richards Bay Harbour, sampled over a two-year period, were dominated by the Natantia and Brachyura. Species typically associated with subtropical and warm-temperate South African estuaries were most common. Relative abundances of prevalent groups are discussed and compared with published data from systems in South Africa and elsewhere. Differences in sampling techniques were at least partly responsible for differences noted. In the case of commercially important penaeid prawns, species composition differed from those reported historically. Marked contrasts in crustacean catches were recorded from different sites and while salinity and turbidity may have played a role it is probable that the nature of the substratum and proximity of large mangrove stands are most influential in determining species spatial distributions in the harbour. Given the harbour's importance as a nursery to estuarine crustaceans, including species of considerable ecological and commercial value, this fact must be accounted for in future development plans.

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