Natural diet of the moon crab, Ashtoret miersii (Henderson, 1887) collected from the southeast cost of India.

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Zoology, Annamalai University, Annamalainagar – 608 002, Tamil Nadu, India.

2 Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology, Annamalai University, Parangipettai-608502, India.


During monsoon season, a total of 550 Ashtoret miersii were obtained from Parangipettai coastal environment, south-east cost of India to study its natural diet. The occurrence of this crab is the first record in Indian coast which expands in its known range. The analysis of gut contents indicated that these crabs are primarily carnivorous. Their diet consisted of 52% to 84% of animal tissue. The juveniles and sub adults of this crab were found to feed actively than adults. The diet of juveniles was mainly composed of mollusks (11%) and arthropods (32%) by volume. The stomach contents of sub adult crabs were dominated by arthropods (38%) whereas in adults, mollusks were the major food (32%). Dietary diversity values were consistently high in all cases and variation was slight. However, variation was somewhat higher between juveniles and adults classes.