Redclaw, Cherax quadricarinatus sex-separated rearing strategy enhances reproduction in females

Nesa, Nur Un, Elliott, Lisa, Zeng, Chaoshu, Jones, Rhondda, and Cavalieri, John (2023) Redclaw, Cherax quadricarinatus sex-separated rearing strategy enhances reproduction in females. Aquaculture, 573. 739592.

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Redclaw crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus, a tropical freshwater species, native to Northern Australia and is regarded as a promising species for global expansion of aquaculture. However, poor female fertility is a hindrance towards the commercial production of redclaw. The present study investigated if dissociated; pre-exposure of female redclaw to males can stimulate spawning and increase reproductive efficiency. The study was conducted in dissociated (111 days) and associated (34 days) phases. Redclaw were held in vertical recirculating aquaculture systems with each system consisting of 42 individual compartments (45 cm length x 33 cm width x 25 cm height) arranged as six compartments horizontally and seven compartments vertically. The average body weight of females was 66 ± 2.2 g. In the dissociated phase, females were either kept alone (0M, n = 36) or were exposed to either 1 (1M, n = 36) or 2 (2M, n = 36) males suspended in the uppermost row of the system. During the associated phase, females (n = 108) were maintained at a sex ratio of 1M:1F. During the dissociated phase, the spawning rate was less in the control compared to the male exposed groups (2.8%, 1/36, 18.1%, 13/72 respectively; p = 0.026). However, the moulting rate was greater in the control compared to the male exposed groups (22.2%, 8/36; 5.6%, 4/72 respectively; p = 0.009). During the associated phase, there were no significant differences in spawning rate (22.2%, 8/36 and 33.3%, 24/72), mean days to spawning (21.88 ± 3.06 and 16.38 ± 2.35), moulting rate (11.1%, 4/36 and 6.9%, 5/72) and mean days to moulting (24.50 ± 3.97 and 22.40 ± 3.93) in the control and male exposed groups, respectively (p > 0.05). However, the mean total number of eggs (670.9 ± 26.0 and 507.0 ± 29.36), fecundity (11.00 ± 0.59 and 6.14 ± 0.47), the hatching rate (89.70 ± 1.31% and 77.50 ± 9.24%) and the total number of juveniles produced (545.70 ± 42.50 and 343.30 ± 37.47) during the associated phase were greater in the male exposed groups compared to the control group respectively; p < 0.05). It was concluded that pre-exposure of redclaw females to males in a dissociated recirculation system, increases spawning rate during a dissociated phase, and after exposure to males improves egg and juvenile production during an associated phase. Such a breeding strategy has potential to increase hatchery productivity.

Item ID: 78909
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-5622
Keywords: Fecundity, Hatching rate, Juvenile production, Redclaw crayfish, Sex-separated rearing strategy
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Funders: Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia (CRCNA)
Projects and Grants: CRCNA PhD Top-up Scholarship
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2023 23:45
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3005 Fisheries sciences > 300501 Aquaculture @ 100%
SEO Codes: 10 ANIMAL PRODUCTION AND ANIMAL PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 1002 Fisheries - aquaculture > 100201 Aquaculture crustaceans (excl. rock lobster and prawns) @ 100%
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