Morphology and weight-length relationships for the first six instars of Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens, 1868)

Rigg, Damian P., Courtney, Robert L., Jones, Clive M., and Seymour, Jamie E. (2021) Morphology and weight-length relationships for the first six instars of Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens, 1868). Freshwater Crayfish, 26 (1). pp. 9-16.

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Cherax quadricarinatus (redclaw) aquaculture has not achieved the industry growth that had been predicted in the early days of development. Provision of quality juvenile crayfish seed stock has been identified as a critical factor in overcoming industry development inertia. Hatchery technology has been developed to produce independent craylings and a nursery phase is now being developed to nurture the delicate craylings to a more advanced and robust juvenile stage, suitable for pond stocking. As part of the nursery development, clear definitions of the successive stages from egg through the first several instars, are required. Although some morphological descriptions of the early stages of redclaw have been made, the characteristics and nomenclature for stages from egg through to an advanced juvenile need clarification. A naming system is proposed (Egg, L1, L2, J1, J2 and J3) for the first six instars from egg, based on gross morphology and allometric relationships. Egg volume, wet weight and ocular carapace length (OCL) were analysed through linear regression. Based on these variables, the size of each instar is defined. Descriptions and photographs of the six instars provide a visual reference for identification. Five of the six instars had a significant relationship between wet weight and OCL. Both significantly increased for each successive instar. Lyophilized (dry) weight was not significantly different between stages until after instar J1, where endogenous feeding begins. The growth of the first four instars, in terms of wet weight and OCL but not dry weight, suggests an extra endogenous source of nutrition in addition to the yolk supply. Branchial water uptake during ecdysis has been proposed as a route for dissolved organic matter or small particulate matter to be acquired by the crayfish during the lecithotrophic, non-exogenous feeding stages, as an additional food source that might further enhance growth and survival.

Item ID: 72220
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2076-4332
Keywords: allometry, aquaculture, Cherax quadricarinatus, crayling, nursery, juvenile, redclaw
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2021 by The Author(s). Published by the International Association of Astacology. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2022 11:22
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