Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 7, pp 1591–1600 | Cite as

Effect of starvation on the energy budget of two Asian horseshoe crab species: Tachypleus tridentatus and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda (Chelicerata: Xiphosura)

  • Menghong Hu
  • Youji Wang
  • Sau Ting Tsang
  • Siu Gin Cheung
  • Paul K. S. ShinEmail author
Original Paper


Energy budget is one of the most studied parameters in aquatic animals under environmental challenge. To examine how prolonged starvation would affect their energy budget, respiration rate (RR), ammonia excretion rate (ER), oxygen consumption to ammonia–nitrogen excretion (O:N) ratio and scope for growth (SfG) representing the balance between energy intake and metabolic output, two Asian horseshoe crab species, Tachypleus tridentatus and Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda, were investigated in two feeding regimes (fed and starved) over a period of 7 weeks. No significant effects of species and time course, as well as their interaction, on absorption efficiency were observed in the fed treatments. For both species, RR and ER of the starved treatments significantly decreased, while their O:N ratio significantly increased during the experiment. However, such values for the fed treatments remained relatively stable over the study period. A rapid reduction in SfG was only apparent in the first week of the starved treatments for both species; thereafter, their SfG remained relatively constant. In the fed treatments, SfG of T. tridentatus was significantly lower than that of C. rotundicauda throughout the experiment. In general, C. rotundicauda showed a greater decrease in SfG under starvation than T. tridentatus, suggesting that they may have a more competitive life-history strategy for adjusting to poor nutritional conditions.


Energy Budget Food Treatment Absorption Efficiency Horseshoe Crab Ammonia Excretion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We gratefully acknowledge three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. We would also like to express our thanks to Raymond Chan and Amy Chong of the Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, for their technical assistance. The work described in this paper was fully supported by a Strategic Research Grant (Project No. 7002581) from City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Menghong Hu
    • 1
  • Youji Wang
    • 1
  • Sau Ting Tsang
    • 1
  • Siu Gin Cheung
    • 1
    • 2
  • Paul K. S. Shin
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biology and ChemistryCity University of Hong KongKowloonHong Kong
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory in Marine PollutionCity University of Hong KongKowloonHong Kong

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