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Dorsal Rostral Spines as a Hard Structure to Determine Age of Blue Shrimp, Litopenaeus Stylirostris Postlarvae (Decapoda, Penaeidae)

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During the life span of shrimp, the postlarval stage is one of the most critical. At this stage they swim into coastal lagoons to complete their life cycle. Determining the age or stage of development of the group on arrival into nursery areas is important for determining the origin of the postlarvae. In order to determine the age of blue shrimp, Litopenaeus stylirostris (Stimpson, 1874) postlarvae, the number of dorsal rostral spines (DRS) was evaluated. The postlarvae were obtained from progenitors identified to the species level and were cultivated to a size of 25 mm total length. This size corresponded to 21 days of cultivation. Seven age groups were assigned according to the number of DRS. Data were also obtained from three different sites in the Gulf of California and the DRS of postlarvae returning to their respective nursery grounds was determined. It was found that the number of DRS of these postlarvae was different, depending on the site. This suggests that postlarvae are returning to nursery areas at different ages, depending on whether spawning occurred nearby or far from the nursery area. The conclusion was reached that the use of DRS as a hard structure to determine the age of postlarvae is worthy of note, and constitutes an easier and more helpful method than previously thought.


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