Aquaculture Methods and Early Growth of Juvenile Horseshoe Crabs (Limulus polyphemus)



Current knowledge of horseshoe crabs (HSC) has been derived, in large part, from field studies. Comprehending the biology and conservation of HSC could be facilitated and augmented by understanding and improving their culture methods. Although many researchers and even lay people are capable of getting animals to the early stages of development, very few are successful in getting them to survive for longer periods of time. The Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center (AREAC) has been successful in rearing HSC in annual cohorts, some for more than 7 years. We have used indoor recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) containing medium prepared with artificial sea salts. Animals have been given various diets, including both natural and specially formulated feeds. We have traced the earliest developmental stages through juvenile development in animals that were derived from eggs fertilized in the field and laboratory. This chapter will discuss the problems and successes of culturing adult and developing HSC in RAS, methods of fertilization, feed regimes, growth, and survivorship and observations on HSC development from egg to juvenile.


Horseshoe Crab Stock Enhancement Recirculate Aquaculture System Brine Shrimp Nauplius Prosomal Width 



We acknowledge a number of individuals who have participated in our horseshoe crab aquaculture program particularly the staff at AREAC including Jacob Raz, Doug Laing, Robert Dickie, and Tal Tzafrir-Prag. We would also like to acknowledge the efforts of our students including Agnes Cwalina, Yousra Abdelhadhi, Nicole Burgoyne, Gold Truong, Kseniya Shelkovskaya, Farzanna Islam, and Lucinda Ng. Our programs in horseshoe crab aquaculture began with the encouragements and support of Dr. John Tanacredi and much of their success have been due to his contributions. We would also like to acknowledge the support of the Gateway National Recreation Area and the Jamaica Bay Institute.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center (AREAC)Brooklyn College – City University of New YorkBrooklynUSA
  2. 2.Department of Natural Science, Box A-0506 Baruch CollegeCity University of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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