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Aquatic Biology

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AB 9:251-261 (2010)  -  DOI:

Feeding and growth in early larval shrimp Macrobrachium amazonicum from the Pantanal, southwestern Brazil

Klaus Anger1,*, Liliam Hayd2

1Biologische Anstalt Helgoland, Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Meeresstation, 27498 Helgoland, Germany
2Universidade Estadual de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campus de Aquidauana, 79200-000, Aquidauana, MS, Brazil

ABSTRACT: The palaemonid shrimp Macrobrachium amazonicum (Heller 1862) lives in coastal rivers and estuaries along the northern coasts of South America as well as in inland waters of the Amazon, Orinoco, and upper La Plata (Paraguay-Paraná) River systems. In an experimental investigation on a little known, hydrologically isolated population from the Pantanal (upper Paraguay basin), we studied ontogenetic changes in early larval feeding and growth. Similar to a previously studied population from the Amazon estuary, the first zoeal stage (Z I) hatched with conspicuous fat reserves remaining from the egg yolk. While Z I is a non-feeding stage, Z II is facultatively lecithotrophic, and Z III is planktotrophic, requiring food for further development. Compared to estuarine larvae, those from the Pantanal hatched with lesser amounts of lipid droplets, and they survived for significantly shorter periods in the absence of food (maximally 8–9 d versus 14–15 d, at 29°C). Both populations moulted in short intervals (ca. 2 d) through larval stages Z I to VI. Biomass increased exponentially, with a higher growth rate observed in the Pantanal larvae. These develop in lentic inland waters, where high productivity allows for fast growth of planktonic predators. By contrast, the early larval stages of the Amazon population show a higher endotrophic potential and are thus better adapted to conditions of food limitation occurring during riverine downstream transport through lotic waters, towards coastal marine habitats. Initial larval independence from food in the Pantanal clade is interpreted as a plesiomorphic trait persisting from coastal marine ancestors.

KEY WORDS: Caridean shrimp · Larval feeding · Larval growth · Lecithotrophy · Starvation

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Cite this article as: Anger K, Hayd L (2010) Feeding and growth in early larval shrimp Macrobrachium amazonicum from the Pantanal, southwestern Brazil. Aquat Biol 9:251-261.

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