Growth and development of Atlantic mud crab larvae fed natural Zooplankton prey
Atlantic mud crab larvae (Panopeus herbstii H. Milne Edwards) were fed either brine-shrimp nauplii or natural Zooplankton in the laboratory and in large, field-deployed enclosures. Larvae developed fastest in 1440-1, field-deployed enclosures. By 9 days post hatching, more than 90% of the enclosure larvae had reached zoea Stage IV compared to only 50% of the larvae that were fed brine shrimp in small bowls. Larvae fed natural Zooplankton in either 40-1 tanks developed more slowly and were still in zoea Stage II after 9 days. Larvae that were fed natural Zooplankton in small bowls lost weight during the course of the experiment. Even though larvae developed most rapidly in field-deployed enclosures, there was no significant difference between the rate of dry-weight growth of larvae fed brine shrimp in 50-ml bowls and larvae fed natural zooplankton in enclosures. The greater stage-specific dry weight of larvae fed brine shrimp may have been related to the relative energy content of the two diets, while differences in the rates of development may have been related to the respective spatial scales of the different culture techniques. Diel cycles in temperature within the enclosures may have also had an effect on the rate of development. © 1994.
Epifanio, CE; Lobanoff, MA; Connaughton, VP; Welch, JM
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