Reproductive and larval biology of the sub-Antarctic hermit crab Pagurus comptus reared in the laboratory

Lovrich, Gustavo A. and Thatje, Sven (2006) Reproductive and larval biology of the sub-Antarctic hermit crab Pagurus comptus reared in the laboratory. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 86, (4), 743-749. (doi:10.1017/S0025315406013658).


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Fecundity, hatching rhythm, and the planktotrophic larval development of the hermit crab Pagurus comptus from sub-Antarctic waters of the Beagle Channel (Tierra del Fuego) were studied under controlled laboratory conditions of temperature, light cycle, food supply, and salinity. Fecundity was low, ranging from 134 to 848 eggs per female (cephalotoraxic shield length, SL, 2.3^5.0mm). Hatching observed in the laboratory ranged from 6 to 30 d. The larval development was studied in laboratory cultures fed with Artemia sp. nauplii and kept at constant 7.0± 0.58C. Larvae invariably passed through four zoeal instars and one megalopa stage. Mean durations of the zoeal stages I to IV were 14.3±1.8, 16.7±4.6, 23.2±6.5, 33.4±9.2 d, respectively. Combined with the 43.8±5.6 d recorded for the survived megalopae, we suggest that the complete larval development lasts about four months. Starved larvae, on average, survived for 22±8.1d (maximum 38 d) by far exceeding the zoea I duration in fed larvae, but did not reach the moult to the zoea II stage. Unlike other sub-Antarctic decapods, which show a tendency towards abbreviated or endotrophic larval developments at high latitudes, hermit crabs, at their southernmost distributional limit on Earth, show an extended and fully planktotrophic larval development and thusneed to synchronize larval release with short periods of high primary production.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1017/S0025315406013658
ISSNs: 0025-3104 (print)
Related URLs:
Subjects: Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GC Oceanography
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Ocean & Earth Science (SOC/SOES)
ePrint ID: 39213
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:09

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