, Volume 52, Issue 4, pp 377-386

Larval distribution and reproductive ecology of Thysanoessa macrura (Crustacea: Euphausiacea) in the Scotia Sea

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Abstract

In the Scotia Sea, the larvae of Thysanoessa macrura G.O. Sars, 1885 were scarce in spring (September 27 to October 6, 1971) and mainly present at the Calyptopis I stage, while in summer (December 17, 1974 to January 3, 1975) they were much more abundant and much further developed (up to Furcilia VI). The spawning season commences as early as September and, as indicated by the presence of numerous nauplii and metanauplii in summer, is rather long. T. macrura begins to spawn much earlier in West-Wind-Drift waters than in waters of the Weddell Sea. It starts to spawn simultaneously with Euphausia frigida and E. triacantha, but significantly earlier than E. superba. These timings of the breeding process are related to differential biogeographical characteristics of these species. Plankton collections made at depths of 500 or 1000 m have, for T. macrura, revealed a “developmental ascent” analogous to that of E. superba. Ontogenetical deep-water migrations are, consequently, characteristic not only for E. superba, but also for other Antarctic euphausiids (in particular E. frigida, but possibly not for inshore E. crystallorophias) and, as correctly postulated by several other investigators, for all oceanic euphausiid species.

Communicated by M.E. Vinogradov, Moscow