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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

ABSTRACT Available data on the lipid content and composition of the Antarctic krill Euphausia superba Dana are summarized. Female total lipid content increases during the summer as the ovary matures, and there is also some evidence of an increase in the lipid content of males and immatures as winter approaches. The storage lipid is mainly triacylglycerol and there is less than 1% wax ester. Fatty acids are moderately unsaturated, though less so in the ovarian lipid, and the triacylglycerol contains up to 4% phytanic acid. These data suggest that krill feed on phytoplankton during the summer bloom, but that, unlike E. crystallorophias, E. superba does not rely on a lipid store to survive the winter.

Affiliations: 1: British Antarctic Survey, Natural Environment Research Council, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OET, United Kingdom.


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