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image of Crustaceana

The setagenic development of the pleopods of rock lobster Palinurus gilchristi was investigated as a method to identify moult stages and define a moulting season. Seven discrete moulting stages and substages were found in captive lobsters. A premoult D0 stage was followed by a D1′ stage 30- 46 days prior to moulting, progressing to stages D1′′′ (23-24 days before moulting) and D2 (covering a 2-week period prior to moulting). The post-moult stages A (2 days) and B (~1 week) were short, and an early intermoult C stage was observed after 11 days. Analyses of monthly field samples using the above pleopod stages indicated that the proportions of premoult lobsters in catches peaked in September (25%), October (35%) and November (22%). This confirms results from tagging, which show an increase in the proportions of small (<70 mm CL) postmoult lobsters in catches in October (43%), November (60%), and December (98%), and in large (>70 mm CL) postmoult lobsters in December (61%). Shell-condition reflected low proportions of recently-moulted soft-shelled lobsters in samples throughout the study, the only exception being males in December (22%). This study presents the first application of pleopod setagenesis to rock lobsters of the genus Palinurus.

Le développement sétogène des pléopodes de la langouste Palinurus gilchristi a été étudié comme méthode pour identifier les stades de mue et définir une saison de mue. Sept stades et sous-stades discrets de mues ont été trouvés chez les langoustes en captivité. Un stade de prémue D0 est suivi d'un stade D1′ de 30-46 jours avant la mue, jusqu'aux stades D1′′′ (23-24 jours avant la mue) et D2 (sur une période de 2 semaines avant la mue). Les stades post-mues A (2 jours) et B (~1 semaine) sont courts, et un stade C d'intermue a été observé après 11 jours. Les analyses d'échantillons de terrain mensuels utilisant les stades pléopodes ci-dessus ont indiqué que les proportions de langoustes en prémue atteignaient un pic en septembre (25%), octobre (35%) et novembre (22%). Ceci confirme les résultats du marquage, qui montrent une augmentation dans les proportions de petites (<70 mm CL) langoustes en postmue dans les prises d'octobre (43%), novembre (60%) et décembre (98%) et de grandes (>70 mm) langoustes en post-mue en décembre (61%). L'état de la carapace reflète les faibles proportions des langoustes à carapace molle ayant mué récemment dans les échantillons, tout au long de l'étude, l'unique exception étant celle des mâles de décembre (22%). Cette étude présente la première application de la setogénèse des pléopodes aux langoustes du genre Palinurus.

Affiliations: 1: Marine and Coastal Management, Private Bag X2, Roggebaai 8012, Cape Town, South Africa; 2: Marine Biology Research Institute, Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa


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