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Swimming Behaviour During the Larval Development of the Shrimp Metapenaeus Ensis (De Haan, 1844) (Decapoda, Penaeidae)

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The swimming behaviour of the larvae and postlarvae of Metapenaeus ensis was studied using a videotape analysis technique. Nauplii alternate between periods of rapid swimming and rest. Protozoeae swim continuously in a smooth and rather slow gliding motion. The swimming behaviour of mysis I and II consists of smooth gliding movement broken periodically by jumps and spiral rolls. Mysis III tends to swim for a short period and then sinks passively through the water column. Sinking behaviour persists as the young shrimp begins to spend more time near the bottom and becomes a bottom dweller after 4 or 5 days of postlarval development. The ability to swim in a backward direction was first observed in mysis III. Ventral flexion of the abdomen is used to provide backward darts in postlarvae. Larvae and postlarvae of M. ensis have the ability to modify their swimming behaviour in response to changes in food conditions. Swimming speed of mysis III and postlarvae was lower in animals fed with algae than in animals fed with both algae and Artemia nauplii. Most developmental stages exhibited faster swimming when starved.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong


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