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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 208:197-203 (2000)  -  doi:10.3354/meps208197

Influence of size and delayed settlement on the recapture rate of newly settled American lobsters Homarus americanus

Mary-Jane James-Pirri*, J. Stanley Cobb

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island 02881, USA
*Present address: Box 8, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, Rhode Island 02882, USA. E-mail:

ABSTRACT: Postlarval American lobsters Homarus americanus exhibit variation in size at settlement and timing of settlement but it is not known if this variability influences future survival. The ability to track the fate of individual newly settled lobsters has become possible with the advent of micro-wire tags. In this study micro-wire tags were used to identify individual postlarval and fifth instar lobsters that were released into the field and then recaptured 1 wk later. The influence of size at settlement and timing of settlement on subsequent recapture rate were determined. The overall recapture rate for tagged postlarvae and fifth instars was approximately 15%. Larger sized postlarvae and fifth instar lobsters were recaptured significantly more frequently than their smaller counterparts. There was no difference in recapture rate for postlarvae that delayed settlement, as compared to those that settled at the normal time. Differences in recapture rates between large- and small-sized newly settled lobsters might be associated with emigration, behavioral interactions, or differential survival.

KEY WORDS: Homarus americanus · Postlarvae · Micro-wire tag · Settlement

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