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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 284:211-225 (2004)  -  doi:10.3354/meps284211

Life history of Nippoleucon hinumensis (Crustacea: Cumacea: Leuconidae) in Seto Inland Sea of Japan. I. Summer diapause and molt cycle

T. Akiyama*, Masamichi Yamamoto

Ushimado Marine Laboratory, Okayama University, Ushimado, Okayama 701-4303, Japan

ABSTRACT: The life history of the cumacean Nippoleucon hinumensis was investigated in the Seto Inland Sea of Japan from August 1998 to February 2002. The population produced 1 generation per year and recruitment of offspring occurred in April. The post-marsupial period consisted of 8 instars in males and 9 (plus generally 2 repeated instars) in females. Post-marsupial development up to the 4th instar (2nd juvenile stage) was characterized by periodic molting at intervals of 10 d, slow growth rate, and suppression of sexual dimorphism. Thereafter, the juveniles entered a long-term summer diapause from mid-May to early December, during which the ambient seawater temperature ranged from 15 to 28°C. Ninety-nine % of the population during the diapause were at the 2nd juvenile stage, and 1% were at the 1st juvenile stage. In December, the cumaceans resumed growth, characterized by a fortnightly molt cycle, until the females began to incubate the first brood in late February. Each molting was highly synchronized among individuals and phased with the lunar cycles. After the end of the summer diapause, sexual dimorphism became apparent, with ovigerous females becoming about 1.2 times larger than adult males. After release of manca larvae in early April, most females incubated a second brood in late April, and then rapidly disappeared due to mortality probably caused by high water temperature. Clutch size was 57.9 ± 9.4 for the first brood and 42.4 ± 7.3 for the second.

KEY WORDS: Crustacea · Cumacea · Leuconidae · Life history · Summer diapause · Molt cycle · Semilunar rhythm

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