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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT The effect of starvation imposed at regular time intervals upon megalopal survival and duration was measured in the brachyuran crab Hemigrapsus oregonensis. Treatments included a fed control, starvation imposed after 5 days of feeding, starvation imposed after 10 days of feeding, and a total starvation control. Survival to metamorphosis did not occur in the Starvation Control. Survival measured 38% in the Day 5 treatment, and 85% and 80% in the Day 10 and Fed Control treatments, respectively. Time to metamorphosis was the same for surviving megalopae in all treatments. Feeding early during the megalopal instar appears sufficient to support successful metamorphosis in a substantial number of individuals, although the point beyond which feeding is no longer essential varies among individuals. Freedom from the need to satisfy metabolic or specific nutritional requirements during the latter part of megalopal development may permit the megalopa to adapt more effectively to the needs of the transition from the pelagic larva to the benthic adult.


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