Comparisons in Prosomal Width and Body Weight Among Early Instar Stages of Malaysian Horseshoe Crabs, Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda and Tachypleus gigas in the Laboratory

  • Sh. Shakiba Zadeh
  • A. Christianus
  • C.R. Saad
  • P. Hajeb
  • M.S. Kamarudin


The three Southeast Asian horseshoe crab species are diminishing not only locally but also regionally and protection of them is now an urgent matter. Two species of horseshoe crab, Tachypleus gigas and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, were artificially inseminated, and the eggs were incubated at 28±1°C and in the salinity of 33±2 ppt. The fertilized eggs hatched after 42 days and 41 days with hatching rates of 98.1 and 98.9% for T. gigas and C. rotundicauda, respectively. This study reveals that in the identical laboratory condition, C. rotudicauda underwent more frequent molting than T. gigas. After 328 days of rearing, 63.8 and 22.9% of C. rotundicauda larvae had molted to the 6th and 7th instars, respectively, while 56.6 and 20.1% of T. gigas at the end of 355 days of rearing had molted to the 5th and 6th instars, respectively, but only 0.6% had molted to the 7th instar. There is a wide variation in the molting rate among larvae obtained from synchronized inseminated eggs and reared under uniform laboratory conditions.


Incremental Growth Horseshoe Crab Instar Stage Total Larva Prosomal Width 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Botton ML, Loveland RE, Jackobson TR (1992) Overwintering by trilobite larvae of the horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus on sandy beach of Delaware Bay (New Jersey, USA). Mar Ecol Prog Ser 88:289–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Botton ML, Shuster CN, Sekiguchi K, Sugita H (1996) Amplexus and mating behavior in the Japanese horseshoe crab, Tachypleus tridentatus. Zool Sci 13:151–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brockmann HJ (2003) Nesting behavior: a shoreline phenomenon. In: Shuster CN Jr., Barlow RB, Brockmann HJ (eds) The American Horseshoe Crab. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, pp 33–49Google Scholar
  4. Carmichael RH, Rutecki D, Valiela I (2003) Abundance and population structure of the Atlantic horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus in Pleasant Bay, Cape Cod. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 246:225–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chiu MC, Morton B (2001) Growth and allometry of two horseshoe crab species, Tachypleus tridentatus and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda(Xiphosura), in Hong Kong. Asian Mar Biol 18:129–141Google Scholar
  6. Chatterji A (1994) The horseshoe crab – a living fossil. Swarajya publ., Orissa, India.Google Scholar
  7. Chatterji A, Vijayakumar R, Parulekar AH (1988) Growth and morphometric characteristics in the horseshoe crab, Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda (Latreille), from Canning (west Bengal), India. Pak J Sci Ind Res 31:352–353Google Scholar
  8. Ehlinger GS, Tankersley RA (2004) Survival and development of horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) embryos and larvae in hypersaline conditions. Biol Bull 206: 87–94PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hajeb P, Shakiba Zadeh Sh, Christianus A, Arshad A, Saad CR (2005) Growth stages and age of horseshoe crabs, Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda and Tachypleus gigas, in Malaysia. In: 8th Applied Biology Symposium.Arshad A, Daud SK, Siraj SS, Guan TS, Cheang QS (eds) Malaysian Society of Applied Biology, Serdang Malaysia, pp 120–124Google Scholar
  10. Kawahara D (1982) Investigation on ecology of horseshoe crab larvae. Aquabiology 4: 380–382Google Scholar
  11. Lee CN, Morton B (2005) Experimentally derived estimates of growth by juvenile Tachypleus tridentatus and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda (Xiphosura) from nursery beaches in Hong Kong. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 318:39–49CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Leschen AS, Grady SP, Valiela I (2006) Fecundity and spawning of the Atlantic horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus, in Pleasant Bay, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. Mar Ecol 27: 54–65CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mishra JK (2009) Larval culture of Tachypleus gigas and its molting behavior under laboratory conditions. In: Tanacredi JT, Botton ML, Smith DR (eds) Biology and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs. Springer, New York, pp 513–519Google Scholar
  14. Schreibman MP, Zarnoch CB (2009) Aquaculture methods and early growth of juvenile horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus). In: Tanacredi JT, Botton ML, Smith DR (eds) Biology and Conservation of Horseshoe Crabs. Springer, New York, pp 501–511Google Scholar
  15. Sekiguchi K (1988) Biology of Horseshoe Crabs. Science House, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  16. Yeh HY (1999) Life cycle, juvenile habitat and conservation strategies of the horseshoe crab (Tachypleus tridentatus) in Kinmen. M. Phil. Thesis, National Taiwan University, Taipoi’lki, TaiwanGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sh. Shakiba Zadeh
    • 1
  • A. Christianus
    • 2
  • C.R. Saad
    • 2
  • P. Hajeb
    • 2
  • M.S. Kamarudin
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSerdang, SelangorMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of AgricultureUniversiti Putra MalaysiaSelangorMalaysia
  3. 3.Universiti Putra MalaysiaSerdang, SelangorMalaysia

Personalised recommendations