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Helgoland Marine Research

Open Access

Culture of brachyuran crab larvae using a re-circulating sea water system in the laboratory

  • A. N. Sastry1
Helgoländer wissenschaftliche Meeresuntersuchungen20:BF01609917


1. Larvae ofCancer irroratus were raised in the laboratory from the first zoeal stage to the first crab stage. Five zoeal stages and one megalops stage were observed during development to the first crab stage.

2. The larvae developed to the megalops stage in salinities of 20 ‰, 25 ‰, 30 ‰ and 35 ‰, and at temperatures of 10°, 15° and 20° C. The megalops metamorphosed in all the four salinities at 15° C, and in 25 ‰ at 20° C. A temperature-salinity combination of 15° C and 30 ‰ S was found to allow maximum survival of larvae until the crab stage. The different salinities do not seem to affect greatly the duration for zoeal development, megalops development and total development to the crab stage at 15° C.

3. The larvae ofPanopeus herbstii were also raised to the first crab stage in the laboratory at 20° and 25° C and 32 ‰ S. There were four zoeal stages and one megalop stage during complete development in the laboratory.

4. A re-circulating sea water system has been designed and fabricated for cultivation of crab larvae under controlled environmental conditions in the laboratory. The larvae ofC. irroratus andP. herbstii, cultured in the sea water system, completed their development to the first crab stage.


Control Environmental ConditionZoeal StageCrab LarvaBrachyuran CrabMegalops Stage