When present in an estuary system, the Florida stone crab can occur in large densities (Lindberg et al. 1990). Regeneration: Menippe mercenaria has the ability to regenerate claws that are removed as a defense mechanism or by other means including harvesting for human consumption. Observations of the Florida stone crab indicate that these crabs are initially right handed. During regeneration there is usually a reversal of handedness in the crab where the pincer claw differentiates into a crusher claw and the removed claw is replaced by a new pincer claw. In an adult crab the pincer claw is replaced by a crusher claw within three molts. Juveniles readily replace the crusher in one molt. Some individuals of Menippe mercenaria are reported to regenerate two claws o ³70 mm in length in as little as 6 months (Simonson 1985).
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