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Molt Staging in the Southern Rock Lobster Jasus Edwardsii

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image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

Abstract A molt staging technique is described for use in the southern rock lobster Jasus edwardsii and estimates are presented for the length of molt stage and of molt cycle in juvenile lobsters. The molt cycle can be divided into 13 stages or substages, of which 10 are relatively easy to distinguish using a combination of cephalothorax rigidity, pleopod epidermis retraction, and setal formation. The stages are similar to those described for other lobsters and crustaceans with interspecific differences, including the length of D0 (apolysis) and the timing of barbule appearance. The application of this technique to field studies is discussed.

Affiliations: 1: SARDI Aquatic Sciences, P.O. Box 120, Henley Beach, South Australia, Australia 5022 (


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