Effect of starvation on the first larvae of Homarus americanus (Decapoda, Nephropidae) and phyllosomas of Jasus verreauxi and J. edwardsii (Decapoda, Palinuridae)
Food is one of the important factors controlling decapod larval culture, however, little is known about the effect of the starvation regimen on the physiological condition of the larvae. In the present study, the influence of starvation upon survival rate and the intermolt period was observed in the first instar of the American lobster, Homarus americanus, the first instars of phyllosomas of the red rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii, and the green rock lobster, J. verreauxi. Larvae were reared in receptacles of 150 ml capacity filled with sea water and submitted to two feeding regimens: larvae were submitted to an initial period of starvation and larvae were submitted to an initial period of feeding. Larvae of H. americanus were cultured individually at 17 - 18°C, while phyllosomas were cultured at five larvae per receptacle at temperatures of 19 - 22°C and 16 - 17° C for J. edwardsii and J. verreauxi, respectively. No larvae succeeded in molting if completely starved or if they were fed after a prolonged starvation period. However, the species showed a period of tolerance before food was introduced. The average interval between the first day of feeding and the first day of molting was relatively constant within each species: about 4, 10 and 12 d for H. americanus, J. edwardsii and J. verreauxi, respectively. The starvation tolerance period (50% survival) averaged about 5, 4 and 8 d for these species, respectively. The interval between the ending of starvation and the initial molting period were roughly equivalent although it was shorter in H. americanus than in the Jasus species. The beginning of molting in each species was delayed in accordance with prolonged days of starvation. The feeding period that allowed at least 50% of the larvae to molt to the 2nd instar was 1, 5 and 7 d for these species, respectively. Molting in each species began after a rather constant intermolt period (5, 12, 13 d, respectively), regardless of the length of the initial feeding period. These results indicate that the first instar phyllosoma of these Jasus spp. are less tolerant of starvation and require a longer feeding period to molt compared to Homarus larvae.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 1997-07-01
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