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Effects of husbandry parameters on the life-history traits of the apple snail, Marisa cornuarietis: effects of temperature, photoperiod, and population density

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These experiments are part of a larger study designed to investigate the influence of husbandry parameters on the life history of the apple snail, Marisa cornuarietis. The overall objective of the program is to identify suitable husbandry conditions for maintaining multi-generation populations of this species in the laboratory for use in ecotoxicological testing. In this article, we focus on the effects of photoperiod, temperature, and population density on adult fecundity and juvenile growth. Increasing photoperiod from 12 to 16 h of light per day had no effect on adult fecundity or egg hatching and relatively minor effects on juvenile growth and development. Rearing snails at temperatures between 22°C and 28°C did not influence the rates of egg production or egg clutch size. However, the rates of growth and development (of eggs and juveniles) increased with increasing temperature in this range, and when temperatures were reduced to 22°C egg-hatching success was impaired. Juvenile growth and development were more sensitive to rearing density than adult fecundity traits. On the basis of the present results, we conclude that rearing individuals of M. cornuarietis at a temperature of 25°C, a photoperiod of 12L:12D, and a density of <0.8 snails L−1 (with lower densities for juvenile snails) should provide favorable husbandry conditions for maintaining multi-generation populations of this species.

Keywords: Ampullaridae; ecotoxicology; gastropod; growth; reproduction

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: ABC Laboratories Inc., Columbia, Missouri 65202, USA 2: Brixham Environmental Laboratory, AstraZeneca, Freshwater Quarry, Devon TQ5 8BA, UK 3: Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00936 4: Assessment Technologies Inc., Fredericksburg, Virginia 22407, USA 5: Bayer AG, Institute for Environmental Analysis and Evaluation, D-51368 Leverkusen, Germany 6: Department of Life Sciences and Chemistry, Roskilde University, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark

Publication date: April 1, 2006


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