The effects of salinity on the survival, growth and haemolymph osmolality of early juvenile blue swimmer crabs, Portunus pelagicus

Romano, Nicholas, and Zeng, Chaoshu (2006) The effects of salinity on the survival, growth and haemolymph osmolality of early juvenile blue swimmer crabs, Portunus pelagicus. Aquaculture, 260. pp. 151-162.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


The blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus, is an emerging aquaculture species in the Indo-Pacific. Two experiments were performed to determine the effects of salinity on survival, growth and haemolymph osmolality of early juvenile P. pelagicus crabs. The salinities tested for the first experiment were 10, 15, 25 and 40 ppt, and for the second experiment 5, 20, 30, 35 and 45 ppt. Each salinity experiment was triplicated, with each replicate consisting of 10 stage 4 juveniles. Each experiment lasted 45 days. Mortalities and incidence of “molt death syndrome” were recorded daily, while the intermolt period, carapace length, carapace width and wet weight were measured at each molt. At the end of the experiments the haemolymph osmolality and dry weights were measured.

Results demonstrate that salinity significantly affects both the survival and growth of early P. pelagicus juveniles. Mortality was significantly higher (p < 0.01) for juveniles cultured at salinities ≤ 15 ppt and at 45 ppt. At a salinity of 5 ppt a complete mortality occurred on day 20. In all salinity treatments, the majority of mortalities were due to “molt death syndrome”. In experiment 1, immediate effects of salinity on growth and development were seen at 10 ppt as the intermolt period was significantly longer (p < 0.01) and the mean carapace size increase was significantly less (p < 0.01) at the first molt compared to the other treatments. Meanwhile, the specific growth rates (carapace length, width and wet weight) were significantly lower (p < 0.05) at high salinities (≥ 40 ppt) due to longer intermolt periods and significantly lower (p < 0.05) carapace size or wet weight increases.

The haemolymph osmolality exhibited a positive linear relationship with the culture medium with an isosmotic point of 1106 mOsm/kg, equal to a salinity of approximately 38 ppt. Based on the osmolality graph, high metabolic cost for osmoregulation due to increased hyper- and hypo-osmotic stress appeared to cause lower survival and specific growth rates of the crabs. The results demonstrate that a salinity range of 20–35 ppt is suitable for the culture of early juvenile P. pelagicus.

Item ID: 3887
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-5622
Keywords: salinity; survival; Growth; osmolality; Portunus pelagicus; early juveniles
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2009 22:32
SEO Codes: 83 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8301 Fisheries - Aquaculture > 830199 Fisheries - Aquaculture not elsewhere classified @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page