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Pheromones inhibit the hatching of diapausing Anostraca (Crustacea: Branchiopoda)

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image of Animal Biology

Hatching of resting eggs of Streptocephalus torvicornis (Waga, 1942) and Branchipus schaefferi Fischer, 1834, two sympatric fairy shrimps, was tested using medium in which these two species and Chirocephalus diaphanus (Prévost, 1803) had been raised. The medium of adults inhibited the hatching of conspecific nauplii, even when diluted by 50% using distilled water. Streptocephalus torvicornis resting eggs hatch in the medium of C. diaphanus but not in the medium of B. schaefferi. Resting eggs of B. schaefferi hatched in low numbers in S. torvicornis medium, and in high numbers in that of C. diaphanus.

There appears to be one or more substances associated with the presence of adults of conspecifics and sympatrics which exceed the influences of abiotic factors, such as light, pH, conductivity and osmotic pressure in fresh media. We propose that this substance(s) functions as a pheromone to inhibit further hatching once a population of adults is present.

Affiliations: 1: Ghent University, Biology Department, Ecology, K.L. Ledeganckstraat 35, B-9000 Gent, Belgium; 2: Ghent University, Department of Animal Production, Laboratory of Aquaculture and Artemia Reference Center, Rozier 44, B-9000 Gent, Belgium


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