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The effect of temperature, salinity, eyestalk ablation, and limb removal on growth and survival of juvenile paddle crab, Ovalipes trimaculatus (Brachyura: Portunidae)

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Crustacean growth in nature is affected by hormonal processes and natural stressors. For aquaculture purposes, paddle crab (Ovalipes trimaculatus) juveniles were subjected to experimental eyestalk ablation, limb removal, and a combination 3x3 temperature and salinity conditions. Relative lifetime in captivity (RLC), molting success (MS), molting interval (MI), growth in terms of size and weight after molting (SI and WI), specific growth rate in size (SGRs) and weight (SGRw), and hepatosomatic index (HS) were evaluated in 8 replicate groups of crabs for each treatment (one crab per tank). RLC was significantly lower in eyestalk-ablated crabs than in those subjected to limb removal and to control conditions (no organ removal, 13⁰C, 33 psu); it was significantly higher in crabs held at 30 psu versus those maintained at 33 and 27 psu. Combinations of 16° or 19°C and 30 psu provided the optimal conditions of growth in size and weight. Results suggest that control of temperature and salinity can improve growth and survival of juveniles in captivity. However, organ removal did not promote molting in captivity, likely to the detriment of survival and physiological condition. Findings from this work highlight the importance of carefully select the better conditions to rear this valuable commercial crab in order to promote its aquaculture in the region.
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Affiliations: 1: Centro para el Estudio de Sistemas Marinos (CESIMAR-CONICET), Laboratorio de Oceanografía Biológica (LOBio). 2: Universidad Tecnológica Nacional – Facultad Regional Chubut (UTN-FRCh) 3: Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco (UNPSJB), Sede Puerto Madryn

Appeared or available online: 29 August 2018

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