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Early development of New Zealand hapuku Polyprion oxygeneios eggs and larvae

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This study describes for the first time the normal development of New Zealand hapuku Polyprion oxygeneios embryos and larvae reared from fertilization to 11 days post‐hatch (dph) at a constant temperature. Fertilized eggs were obtained from natural spawnings from communally reared captive wild broodstock. Eggs averaged 2 mm in diameter and had single or multiple oil globules. Embryos developed following the main fish embryological stages and required an average of 1859·50 degree hours post‐fertilization (dhpf) to hatch. The newly hatched larvae (4·86 mm mean total length, L T) were undifferentiated, with unpigmented eyes, a single and simple alimentary tube and a finfold that covered the entire body. Larvae relied on the energy from the yolk‐sac reserves until 11 dph (7·33 mm mean L T), when yolk‐sac reabsorption was almost completed. Some of the major developmental stages from hatching to yolk‐sac reabsorption were eye pigmentation (5 dph), upper jaw formation (7 dph), lower jaw formation (8 dph) and mouth opening (8–9 dph). By 9 dph, the digestive system consisted of pancreas, liver, primordial stomach, anterior and posterior gut; therefore, P. oxygeneios larvae would be capable of feeding on live prey. The developmental, morphological and histological data described constitutes essential baseline information on P. oxygeneios biology and normal development.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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