Marine Biology

, Volume 150, Issue 1, pp 131–140 | Cite as

Verification of lipofuscin-based crustacean ageing: seasonality of lipofuscin accumulation in the stomatopod Oratosquilla oratoria in relation to water temperature

  • Keita KodamaEmail author
  • Hiroaki Shiraishi
  • Masatoshi Morita
  • Toshihiro Horiguchi
Research Article


To verify the lipofuscin-based age estimation of crustaceans of unknown age from wild populations, we conducted a modal analysis of lipofuscin-concentration histograms in the stomatopod Oratosquilla oratoria seasonally collected from Tokyo Bay, Japan. Confocal microscopy and subsequent image analysis were used to quantify lipofuscin concentrations in the protocerebral bridge cell mass in the brain. Conventional body length frequency analysis failed to detect modes corresponding to ≥1 year old. In contrast, four or five distinct modes were found in the lipofuscin-concentration histograms, in which modes could be readily traced across months, suggesting that each mode represented an independent age group. The lipofuscin accumulation rate fluctuated seasonally: it was high in summer (June–July) and low in winter (December–January). Cross-correlation analysis showed that the highest instantaneous lipofuscin accumulation rate was achieved in early summer before maximum bottom temperatures were reached and when the temperature was increasing most rapidly. Our findings support the usefulness of lipofuscin concentration analysis in age estimation in wild crustacean populations.


Separation Index Bottom Water Temperature Lipofuscin Accumulation Annual Cohort Bottom Hypoxia 
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We thank R. Yamada, A. Goto, S. Ochiai, and the fishers of the Shiba Branch of the Yokohama City Fisheries Cooperative Association for their help with field sampling. We also thank T. Shimizu of the Kanagawa Prefectural Fisheries Technology Center for providing data on the water temperatures in Tokyo Bay. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable scientific comments on this manuscript. This work was funded partly by a Sasakawa Scientific Research Grant from the Japan Science Society (16–403M) and a NIES Grant for Exploratory Research (FY 2004–FY 2005) from the National Institute for Environmental Studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keita Kodama
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hiroaki Shiraishi
    • 1
  • Masatoshi Morita
    • 1
  • Toshihiro Horiguchi
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for Environmental RiskNational Institute for Environmental StudiesTsukubaJapan

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