The coconut crab (Birgus latro), an endangered marine-dispersed crustacean, is facing severe and probably accelerating population extinction worldwide, but biological information on its conservation remains deficient. In order to reveal the genetic structure of B. latro, 10 microsatellite loci were developed. A high degree of polymorphism was observed with a mean number of alleles per locus of 16.9. The mean expected heterozygosities were also high, ranging from 0.742 to 0.965. The observed heterozygosities ranged from 0.210 to 0.925. Departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium were observed at five loci after the Bonferroni correction. These hypervariable markers will be utilized to study the genetic diversity and conservation of B. latro throughout its distribution range in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
- Birgus latro
- Coconut crab
- Endangered species
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics