Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Age Determination of European Lobsters (Homarus Gammarus L.) by Histological Quantification of Lipofuscin

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Journal of Crustacean Biology

Abstract During the past decade, quantification of the pigment lipofuscin in the olfactory lobe cell masses (OLCM) has been successfully used for age determination of crustaceans. The aim of the current study was to quantify the amount of lipofuscin in European lobsters (Homarus gammarus L.) of known age and to determine the accuracy of lipofuscin as an age predictor. Lipofuscin was quantified by confocal fluorescence microscopy and image analysis of histological sections. Our results showed that age and OLCM lipofuscin were closely and linearly related (r 2 = 0.88). Furthermore, in contrast to earlier studies, age was also closely, but nonlinearly, related to carapace length (r 2 = 0.78). Comparison of lipofuscin and carapace length as age predictors nevertheless showed that lipofuscin produced significantly more accurate estimates of age than carapace length. The relatively small difference in the precision of age estimation between lipofuscin and carapace length emphasises the importance of evaluating the relationship between age and carapace length/lipofuscin in studies of populations with variable environmental conditions or demographic processes. It is possible that age, in specific situations, could be satisfactorily predicted on basis of measurements of size.

Affiliations: 1: a (IU, correspondence): Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, NO-7485 Trondheim, Norway ( ; 2: b (MB) British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, UK ; 3: c (TS) Department of Aquaculture, Institute of Marine Research, N-5024 Bergen, Norway (


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

1. Agnalt A-L. , van der Meeren G. I. , Jrstad K. E. , Nss H. , Farestveit E. , Nstvold E. , Korsen E. , Ydsteb&oslash L. , Svsand T. 1999 "Stock enhancement of European lobster (Homarus gammarus); a large scale experiment off southwestern Norway (Kvitsy)." Pp. 401419 in B. Howell, E. Moksness, and T. Svsand, eds. Stock Enhancement and Sea Ranching. Blackwell Scientific Press, London
2. Belchier M. , Edsmann L. , Sheehy M. R J. , Shelton P. M J. 1998 "Estimating age and growth in long-lived temperate freshwater crayfish using lipofuscin." Freshwater Biology Vol 39 439 446
3. Belchier M. , Shelton P. M J. , Chapman C. J. 1994 "The identification and measurement of fluorescent age-pigment abundance in the brain of a crustacean (Nephrops norvegicus) by confocal microscopy." Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Vol 108B 157 164
4. Berman M. S. , McVey A. L. , Ettershank G. 1989 "Age determination of Antarctic krill using fluorescence and image analysis of size." Polar Biology Vol 9 267 271
5. Bluhm B. A. , Brey T. , Klages M. 2001 "The autofluorescent pigment lipofuscin: key to age, growth and productivity of the Antarctic amphipod Waldeckia obesa (Chevreux, 1905)." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 258 215 119
6. Govind C. K. 1989 "Asymmetry in lobster claws." American Scientist Vol 77 468 474
7. Grimsen S. , Jacques R. N. , Erenst V. , Balchen J. G. 1987 "Aspects of automation in a lobster farming plant." Modelling, Identification and Control Vol 8 61 68
8. Ju S-J. , Secor D. H. , Harvey H. R. 1999 "Use of extractable lipofuscin for age determination of blue crab Callinectes sapidus." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 185 171 179
9. Ju S-J. , Secor D. H. , Harvey H. R. 2001 "Growth rate variability and lipofuscin accumulation rates in the blue crab Callinectes sapidus." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 224 197 205
10. Ju S-J. , Secor D. H. , Harvey H. R. 2003 "Demographic assessment of the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) in the Chesapeake Bay using extractable lipofuscins as age markers." Fishery Bulletin (U.S.) Vol 101 312 320
11. Mercer J. P. , Bannister R. C A. , van der Meeren G. I. , Debuse V. , Mazzoni D. , Lovewell S. , Browne R. , Linnane A. , Ball B. 2001 "An overview of the LEAR (Lobster Ecology and Recruitment) project: results of field and experimental studies on the juvenile ecology of Homarus gammarus in cobble." Marine and Freshwater Research Vol 52 1291 1301
12. O'Donovan V. , Tully O. 1996 "Lipofuscin (age pigment) as an index of crustacean age: correlation with age, temperature and body size in cultured juvenile Homarus gammarus L." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 207 1 14
13. Sheehy M. R J. 1989 "Crustacean brain lipofuscin: an examination of the morphological pigment in the fresh-water crayfish Cherax cuspidatus (Parastacidae)." Journal of Crustacean Biology Vol 9 387 391
14. Sheehy M. R J. 1990 "Potential of morphological lipofuscin age-pigment as an index of crustacean age." Marine Biology Vol 107 439 442
15. Sheehy M. R J. 1992 "Lipofuscin age-pigment accumulation in the brains of ageing field- and laboratory-reared crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus (von Martens) (Decapoda: Parastacidae)." Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology Vol 161 79 89
16. Sheehy M. R J. 1996 "Quantitative comparison of in situ lipofuscin concentration with soluble autofluorescence intensity in the crustacean brain." Experimental Gerontology Vol 31 421 432
17. Sheehy M. R J. 2002 "Role of environmental temperature in aging and longevity: insights from neurolipofuscin." Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics Vol 34 287 310
18. Sheehy M. R J. , Bannister R. C A. , Wickins J. F. , Shelton P. M J. 1999 "New perspectives on the growth and longevity of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus)." Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Vol 56 1904 1915
19. Sheehy M. R J. , Cameron E. , Marsden G. , McGrath J. 1995 "Age structure of female giant tiger prawns Penaeus monodon as indicated by neuronal lipofuscin concentration." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 117 59 63
20. Sheehy M. R J. , Greenwood J. G. , Fletcher D. R. 1994 "More accurate chronological age determination of crustaceans from field situations using the physiological age marker, lipofuscin." Marine Biology Vol 121 237 245
21. Sheehy M. R J. , Greenwood J. G. 2001 "Use of lipofuscin age pigment for age determination of lobsters." Marine Fisheries R&D Report MF0215/CSA 2696. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, London. 57 pp
22. Sheehy M. R J. , Greenwood J. G. , Wickins J. F. , Belchier M. , Gaten E. 1996 "Ageing the European lobster, Homarus gammarus, by the lipofuscin in its eyestalk ganglia." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 143 99 111
23. Sheehy M. R J. , Wickins J. F. 1994 "Lipofuscin age pigment in the brain of the European lobster (Homarus gammarus) (L)." Microscopy and Analysis, March: 2325
24. Siferd T. D. , Conover R. J. 1992 "Natural history of ctenophores in the resolute passage area of the Canadian high Arctic, with special reference to Mertensia ovum." Marine Ecology Progress Series Vol 86 133 144
25. Sokal R. R. , Rohlf F. J. 1995 "Biometry." W. H. Freeman and Co., San Francisco
26. Tully O. , O'Donovan V. , Fletcher D. 2000 "Metabolic rate and lipofuscin accumulation in juvenile European lobster (Homarus gammarus) in relation to simulated seasonal changes in temperature." Marine Biology Vol 137 1031 1040
27. Uglem I. , Grimsen S. 1995 "Tag retention and survival of juvenile lobsters (Homarus gammarus (L.)) marked with coded wire tags." Aquaculture Research Vol 26 837 841
28. Wootton R. J. 1990 "Ecology of Teleost Fish." Chapham and Hall, London

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Journal of Crustacean Biology — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation