Survivorship, growth and reproduction of the non-native Caprella mutica Schurin, 1935 (Crustacea: Amphipoda)
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Caprella mutica Schurin is an epifaunal amphipod crustacean which originates in north-east Asia and has spread throughout the world, yet very little is known about fundamental aspects of this species biology. This paper examined the survivorship of C. mutica reared under laboratory conditions at 13–14 °C, 14 h light: 10 h dark photoperiod and fed commercial salmon feed, the diatom Cylindrotheca fusiformis Reumann and Lewin, the macroalgae, Fucus vesiculosus L. and given no additional feed. In addition, growth, maturation and reproduction of C. mutica fed C. fusiformis were assessed. No significant difference in survivorship of C. mutica was observed for the diet types over the experimental period. C. mutica was able to survive for upto 20 days without additional food. Average survival time of males and females fed the diatom, C. fusiformis was 68.8 d (range = 62–73 d) and 82.0 d (range = 76–92 d). Juvenile C. mutica emerged from the brood pouch at a body length of 1.33 mm and moulted at 5.0–11.0 day intervals. Males exhibited faster growth rates than females after Instar VII. Females produced their first brood at Instar VII, 24–26 days post-hatching and with an average body length of 8.5 mm. Each female had an average of two broods sequentially and these were released at 20.2 day intervals. Brood size for a single female increased from 11.3 (±9.9) hatchlings at Instar VII to 25.5 (±11.5) at Instar IX and the maximum number of hatchlings produced by a single female was 82. The results suggest that C. mutica exhibits a number of life-history traits that would potentially enable it to withstand global transportation and to rapidly become established in an introduced region, if environmental conditions are suitable.
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