, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 768-775
Date: 17 Jul 2009

Effects of temperature on hatching rate, embryonic development and early larval survival of the edible sea urchin, Tripneustes gratilla

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The temperature tolerances of embryonic and early larval development stages of Tripneustes gratilla were investigated from 13-34°C under laboratory conditions. Zygotes showed unequal cleavage at 13°C, whereas cleavage did not occurred at 34°C. Hatching was observed between 16–31°C with maximum hatching rates observed at 22–29°C. The lower and higher temperature limits for embryonic development were approximately 22°C and 29°C, respectively. Outside of this temperature range, embryos showed abnormality at different incubation times. Early larvae of this species have the ability to survive the higher temperature limit for short periods of time. Prism and 2 arm pluteus larvae survived at temperatures between 30 and 33°C, whereas 4 arm pluteus larvae survived at temperatures between 30 and 36°C for 2 h. These results suggest that the larval temperature tolerance capability of T. gratilla is stage dependent. These findings are important for understanding the life history strategy of this sea urchin in the shallow open water environment.