Research Article

Total Hydrocarbon and Heavy Metal Concentrations in Body Parts of Fiddler Crab (Uca tangeri) (Ocipodidae) in the Niger Delta, Nigeria  

Aroloye Ofo Numbere
Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2020, Vol. 10, No. 1   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2020.10.0001
Received: 30 Dec., 2019    Accepted: 15 Apr., 2020    Published: 30 Apr., 2020
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Preferred citation for this article:

Numbere A.O., 2020, Total hydrocarbon and heavy metal concentrations in body parts of fiddler crab (Uca tangeri) (Ocipodidae) in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, International Journal of Marine Science, 10(1): 1-9 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2020.10.0001)


This study is based on the hypothesis that the burrowing habit of fiddler crabs in polluted environment will predispose them to heavy metal contamination. The study was carried out in Eagle Island, a mangrove community. Thirty fiddler crabs (Uca tangeri) were captured by hand and butchered into parts and oven dried at 70°C for 48 hours. They were sent to laboratory to determine total hydrocarbon content (THC), Cadmium (Cd), Zinc (Zn) and Lead (Pb) concentrations. The laboratory procedure involved measurement by spectrophotometric method using the HACH DR 890 colorimeter (wavelength 420 nm) for heavy metals and microwave accelerated reaction system (MARS Xpress, North Carolina) for THC. The result indicate that there was no significant difference in THC and heavy metal concentration between crab parts (F6, 49 = 0.32, P=0.925). However, Zinc had the highest concentration in the crab parts followed by Lead and Cadmium. Zinc was the highest in body tissue (83.57±17.04) mg/L followed by intestine (70.59±1.54) mg/L and ventral shell (67.44±1.1) mg/L. Lead was highest in ventral shell (44.5±34.5) mg/L while Cadmium was highest in carapace (10.02±3.99) mg/L. The order of concentration in the body parts of U. tangeri is Zn>Pb>Cd>THC. THC and Lead were higher in males than in females while Zinc and Cadmium were higher in females. External parts have higher THC, Cd and Pb while internal parts have higher Zn. This result indicates that heavy metals bioaccumulated in fiddler crabs, which can get biomagnified in humans if consumed.

Uca tangeri; Rhizophora; Heavy metals; Bioaccumulation; Niger Delta; Total hydrocarbons
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