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Locomotion, feeding, grooming and the behavioural responses to gravity, light and hydrostatic pressure in the stage I zoea larvae of Ebalia tuberosa (Crustacea: Decapoda: Leucosiidae)

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Abstract

The stage I zoeae of Ebalia tuberosa swam by sculling with the exopodites of the 1st and 2nd maxillipeds and flexed the abdomen to brake or change direction. The larvae gained depth by stopping all natatory movements and sinking passively at rates of ∼6 mm s-1. The zoeae refused both living and dead nauplii of Artemia spp., as well as two species of diatoms, but fed readily on detritic material on the bottom which they scooped up using the endopodites of the maxillipeds and pressed against the mouthparts using the telson. The setae on the posterior border of the telson were used for grooming the maxillipeds and the anterior mouthparts. Day-old stage I zoeae were negatively geotactic, positively phototactic and responded to pressure increases by swimming upwards and by high barokinesis. By the third day some larvae had become positively geotactic but were photopositive, and the majority responded to pressure increases as in the day-old larvae. Five-day old larvae were still photopositive but the majority had become positively geotactic and fewer himbers responded to pressure. Seven-day old larvae failed to respond to any of the stimuli used and assumed a predominantly benthic lifestyle. It is suggested that this anomalous behaviour is related to the dispersal of the larvae and to the specialized habitat requirements of the adults while the rather unusual morphology of the larvae is related to their feeding behaviour and semi-benthic lifestyle.

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Communicated by O. Kinne, Hamburg

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Schembri, P.J. Locomotion, feeding, grooming and the behavioural responses to gravity, light and hydrostatic pressure in the stage I zoea larvae of Ebalia tuberosa (Crustacea: Decapoda: Leucosiidae). Marine Biology 72, 125–134 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00396913

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Keywords

  • Hydrostatic Pressure
  • Behavioural Response
  • Feeding Behaviour
  • Pressure Increase
  • Change Direction