Advertisement

Larval Culture of Tachypleus gigas and Its Molting Behavior Under Laboratory Conditions

  • J. K. Mishra

Abstract

Horseshoe crab populations along the northeast coast of India are under threat due to degradation of the breeding beaches. To augment the trend, attempts were made to culture the larvae of Tachypleus gigas and study its growth rate by enhancing the molting pattern in the laboratory condition. Trilobites of T. gigas were cultured on a controlled diet of brine shrimp (Artemia) and diatom (Chaetoceros gracilis) at 26–28°C and 32–34‰.

Trilobites could molt up to the fourth posthatched juvenile stage within a period of 180 days from the day of hatching of trilobite from the egg membrane as free swimming larval stage. The molting behavior was faster from the first to the third posthatched juvenile stage, i.e., within a period of 90 days. The average growth rate in terms of total body length from the first to second posthatched juvenile was about 63%, and from the second to third posthatched larva was about 38%. The growth rate was found to be about 25% from the third to fourth posthatched juvenile stage, and molting took place 180 days after the day of hatching of trilobite. All the posthatched juveniles had similar morphological features to the adults. The fourth posthatched juveniles exhibited more prominent morphological features with fully grown legs, spines, and segmentation, with a total body length of 45 mm.

Further studies on food-dependent molting patterns of juvenile instars may help to establish a standardized aquaculture method to grow horseshoe crabs in captivity. Sea ranching of these reared animals can be carried out regularly in the holding areas to increase horseshoe crab populations and conserve these precious organisms from the brink of extinction.

Keywords

Horseshoe Crab Total Body Length Northeast Coast Similar Morphological Feature Juvenile Instar 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author acknowledges the Ocean Science and Technology Cell, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam, India for providing laboratory facilities to carry out this research work. Thanks are due to two referees for their critical comments in improving the manuscript.

References

  1. Berkson J, Shuster C (1999) The horseshoe crab: the battle for a true multiple-use resource. Fisheries 24:6–10CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Botton ML (2001) The conservation of horseshoe crabs: what can we learn from the Japanese experience? In: Tanacredi J (ed) Limulus in the Limelight. Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York, pp 47–51Google Scholar
  3. Botton ML, Loveland, RE, Tanacredi JT, Itow T (2006) Horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) in an urban estuary (Jamaica Bay, New York) and the potential for ecological restoration. Estuar Coasts 29: 820–830Google Scholar
  4. Brown GG, Clapper DL (1981) Procedures for maintaining adults, collecting gametes, and culturing embryos and juveniles of the horseshoe crab, Limulus polyphemus L. In: Hinegardner R (ed) Laboratory Animal Management of Marine Invertebrates. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, pp 268–290Google Scholar
  5. Carmichael RH, Rutecki D, Annett B, Gaines E, Valiela I (2004) Position of horseshoe crabs in estuarine food webs: N and C stable isotopic study of foraging ranges and diet composition. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 299:231–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chatterji A, Vijaykumar, R, Parulekar AH (1988) Growth and morphometric characteristic in the horseshoe crab, Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda (Latreiile) from Canning (West Bengal), India. Pakistan J Sci Ind Res 33:352–355Google Scholar
  7. Chatterji A, Kotnala S, Mathew R (2004) Effect of salinity on larval growth of horseshoe crab, Tachypleus gigas (Muller). Curr Sci 87:248–250Google Scholar
  8. French KA (1979) Laboratory culture of embryonic and juvenile Limulus. In: Cohen E (ed), Biomedical Applications of the Horseshoe crab (Limulidae). Alan R Liss, New York, pp 61–71Google Scholar
  9. Itow T, Mishra JK, Ahmed ATA (2004) Horseshoe crabs (King crabs) in the Bay of Bengal, South Asia. Bull Fac Edu Shizuoka Univ Nat Sci 54:13–30Google Scholar
  10. Jegla TC (1982) A review of the molting physiology of the trilobite larva of Limulus. In: Bonaventura J, Bonaventura C, Tesh S (eds), Physiology and Biology of Horseshoe Crabs. Alan R Liss, New York, pp 83–101Google Scholar
  11. Laughlin R (1983) The effects of temperature and salinity on larval growth of the horseshoe crab Limulus polyphemus. Biol Bull 164:93–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 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
  13. Mishra JK (1991) Embryonic development and variations in the haemolymph of Indian horseshoe crab, Tachypleus gigas (Muller). Ph. D. Thesis, Berhampur University, Orissa, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  14. Mishra JK, Chatterji A, Parulekar AH (1992) A freak twin trilobite lava of the Indian horseshoe crab, Tachypleus gigas (Muller). J Bombay Nat Hist Soc 90:115–117Google Scholar
  15. Mishra JK (1994) Horseshoe crab, an Amazing Creature of Orissa Coast. Project Swarajya Publ, Orissa, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  16. Rudloe A (1982) Man’s influence as an environmental threat to Limulus. In: Bonaventura J, Bonaventura C, Tesh S (eds), Physiology and Biology of Horseshoe Crabs. Alan R Liss, New York, pp 297–300Google Scholar
  17. Satuito CG, Shimizu K, Natoyama K Yamazaki M, Fusetani N (1996) Age related settlement success by cyprids of the barnacle Balanus amphitrite, with special reference to consumption of cyprid storage protein. Mar Biol 127:125–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sekiguchi K (1973) A normal plate of the development of the Japanese horseshoe crab, Tachypleus tridentatus. Sci Rep Tokyo Kyoiku Daigaku Sect B 14:121–128Google Scholar
  19. Sekiguchi K, Nakamura K, Sen TK, Sugita H (1976) Morphological variation and distribution of a horseshoe crab, Tachypleus gigas, from the Bay of Bengal and the Gulf of Siam. Proc Jap Soc Syst Zool 15:13–20Google Scholar
  20. Sekiguchi K, Nakamura K, Seshimo H (1978) Morphological variation of horseshoe crab from the Bay of Bengal and gulf of Siam. Proc Jap Soc Syst Zool 15:24–30Google Scholar
  21. Sekiguchi K (1988) Biology of Horseshoe Crabs. Science House, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  22. Sekiguch K, Itow T, Yamamich Y (1988) Experimental embryology. In: Sekiguchi K (ed). Biology of Horseshoe Crabs. Science House, Tokyo, pp 225–287Google Scholar
  23. Sekiguchi K, Seshimo H, Sugita H (1988) Post-embryonic development of the horseshoe crab. Biol Bull 174:337–345CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Shuster CN Jr, Sekiguchi K (2003) Growing up takes about ten years and eighteen stages. In: Shuster CN Jr, Barlow RB, Brockmann HJ (eds) The American Horseshoe Crab. Harvard Press, Cambridge, pp 103–132Google Scholar
  25. Tanacredi JT (2001) Horseshoe crabs imperiled? The fate of a species 350 million years in the making. In: Tanacredi J (ed) Limulus in the Limelight. Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York, pp 7–14Google Scholar
  26. Widener JW, Barlow RB (1999) Decline of a horseshoe crab population on Cape Cod. Biol Bull 197:300–302PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ocean Studies and Marine BiologyPondicherry University, Brookshabad CampusPort BlairIndia

Personalised recommendations