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Reproductive stages of the Ponto-Caspian amphipod, Pontogammarus maeoticus (Sowinsky, 1894) (Amphipoda, Pontogammaridae)

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The series of reproductive events in various species of Gammaridae can be described as precopula, copula, egg deposition and fertilization, hatching of the newborn, and the presence of young individuals. The stages of Pontogammarus maeoticus were explored in the laboratory. Amphipod samples were collected on the southwestern coast of the Caspian Sea (Jefrood Beach). The animals were transferred to the laboratory along with sediment from their habitat. The samples were maintained under controlled laboratory conditions at a temperature of 25 ± 1°C, a salinity of 9 ± 0.5‰ and in a 12 : 12 h light/dark regime for about six weeks. In this study, we examined the species’ reproductive sequence. The average time spent in the precopula stage was approx. 2.6 ± 0.91 days and embryonic development took about 8.5 ± 1.1 days. Fecundity was estimated as the number of fertilized eggs existing in the brood pouch of each female (average 14.12). The average length of females was recorded as 12.21 mm. The first precopula was observed about 40 days after hatching. The species has a relatively short reproductive cycle and the generations are able to reproduce after a short period (about 40 days). Hence, this species seems to be a good choice for potential use in aquaculture.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Guilan, Rasht, Iran; 2: 2School of Marine Science, Khorramshahr University of Marine Science and Technology, P.O. Box 64199-669, Khorramshahr, Iran


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