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Growth and moulting of wild-born immature snow crabs, Chionoecetes opilio(Fabricius, 1788) (Decapoda, Majoidea), in the laboratory

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Growth and moulting of wild-born immature snow crabs ( Chionoecetes opilio(Fabricius, 1788)) were investigated by laboratory culture experiments. Crabs with 16.2-42.9 mm carapace width caught from the Sea of Japan were cultured at a temperature of their natural habitat (approximately 1°C). The growth indices (size increments at moulting in mm and in % of premoult carapace width) and intermoult period were significantly affected by premoult carapace width, but sex did not affect these variables. Furthermore, we demonstrated that premoult carapace width and days after moulting significantly affected moulting probability and we developed a moulting probability model based on these variables. From this model, the number of days of intermoult periods when moults occurred in 50% of crabs of instars VI, VII and VIII was estimated at 234, 284 and 346 days, respectively.

Affiliations: 1: 1Obama Laboratory, Japan Sea National Fisheries Research Institute (JSNFRI), Fisheries Research Agency (FRA), Obama, Fukui 917-0117, Japan; 2: 2National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, FRA, Yokohama, Kanagawa 236-0004, Japan; 3: 3Niigata Laboratory, JSNFRI, FRA, Niigata 951-8121, Japan; 4: 4Shibushi Laboratory, National Research Institute of Aquaculture, FRA, Shibushi, Kagoshima 899-7101, Japan; 5: 5Fisheries Technology Department, Kyoto Prefectural Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Technology Center, Miyazu, Kyoto 626-0052, Japan; 6: 6Graduate School of Marine Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Minato, Tokyo 108-8477, Japan


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