Generation studies on benthic amphipod—Quadrivisio bengalensis, Stebbing (Gammaridae) from the Kochin Estuary, Southwest coast of India

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Quadrivisio bengalensis (Stebbing Records of Indian Museum, 1, 159–161, 1907), a eurythermal (26.5–32.2 °C) and euryhaline (0.10–26.2 psu) tropical species, makes a profound contribution as a fodder organism to the benthic biomass of tropical backwaters. Studies on life span, variations in broods, fecundity, sex ratio, brooding behaviour, brood stock assessment, growth rate, antennal segments as an index of growth, moulting frequency, mortality and starvation resistance of Q. bengalensis were made for the first time under controlled laboratory conditions of 12-h photo period for 252 days on 8 pairs of specimens (male and female) collected from the field and their successive broods. The life span of females was found to be higher (maximum 220 days) than males (maximum 175 days). Number of broods varied between 5 and 15, depending on the “status of the brood” (early or late). The maximum number of juveniles in a single brood was 24 and that by a single female over the entire life span was 211. The incubation time varied between 6 and 9 days and the duration of moults (8–18 days) was found to increase with the age of the animals. Maximum growth is usually attained by the offspring arising from the 5th to 7th broods. The 4th to 7th broods were the optimal broods for the maximum number of females attaining maturity. For broods 3 to 7 of the parental set, probability of extinction (ξ) calculated on applying stochastic branching process to generation studies for the first time showed an increasing trend with number of broods while a decreasing trend for ξ for 8th and 9th broods, with least ξ for broods 5 to 7 of the 5th, 6th and 7th generations, suggesting life span and fecundity rates as functions of the “brood status” (early or late). Whether it is true with higher crustaceans remains to be explored.

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The authors are extremely thankful to the Director, (CSIR) National Institute of Oceanography, Dona Paula, Goa for providing facilities to carry out this work and Scientist in Charge, (CSIR) NIO, Regional Centre, Kochi for all the supports. We are indebted to Professor (Dr.) Trevor Platt, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, for his critical evaluation of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to K. V. Jayalakshmy.

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Nair, K.K.C., Jayalakshmy, K.V. & Naveen Kumar, K.R. Generation studies on benthic amphipod—Quadrivisio bengalensis, Stebbing (Gammaridae) from the Kochin Estuary, Southwest coast of India. Environ Monit Assess 192, 68 (2020) doi:10.1007/s10661-019-7962-6

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  • Gammarid amphipod
  • Generation study broods
  • Extinction probability