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A Field Key To the Seed of Penaeid Prawns Along the Konkan Coast (West Coast of India)

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Despite the advancement in prawn culture technology in several parts of the world, India will be still depending on wild seed for prawn farming for some more time. In this context, selective stocking is very important. Yet, practically no information is available on the correct identification of juvenile or seed stage (size: 6 to 60 mm) although a lot of work is done on larval and postlarval stages. Various morphological changes, including colouration, take place during juvenile phase rendering the segregation of seed of different species even more difficult. The present work, based on seed collection from the wild and supplemented by laboratory observations over a period of two years, gives a detailed field key for the following 11 species belonging to 4 genera occurring along the Konkan coast (west coast of India): (1) Penaeus (Penaeus) monodon, (2) P. (P.) semisulcatus, (3) Penaeus (Fenneropenaeus) merguiensis, (4) P. (F.) indicus, (5) Penaeus (Marsupenaeus) japonicus, (6) Metapenaeus dobsoni, (7) M. monoceros, (8) M. affinis, (9) M. moyebi, (10) Parapenaeopsis cornuta, (11) Metapenaeopsis sp. The key is based on colour in live condition, habitat and salinity preference, swimming and burying behaviour, morphological, meristic and morphometric studies.

Affiliations: 1: College of Fisheries (Konkan Agricultural University), Ratnagiri - 415 612, Maharashtra State, India

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