Facultative secondary lecithotrophy in the megalopa of the shrimp Lysmata seticaudata (Risso, 1816) (Decapoda : Hippolytidae) under laboratory conditions


Certain decapod crustaceans can catabolize internal reserves to undergo partial or full larval development. This feature is termed secondary lecithotrophy, if energy used results from plankton derived organic matter accumulated Ig earlier larval stages. The present work reports the ability of Lysmata seticaudata megalopa to moll to the first juvenile stage in the absence of food. Unlike previous records of secondary lecithotrophy displayed by nonfeeding last larval stages of hermit crabs and spiny lobsters, the megalopa of L. seticaudata retains its feeding capacity. This is the first time such a feature has been reported in decapods, and the term facultative secondary lecithotrophy is proposed. The build up of energy reserves continues during the last zoeal stage of L. seticaudata, with starved zoea IX failing to molt to megalopa. Energy reserves that enable starved megalopa to molt to juvenile seem to be partially depleted, with starved juveniles produced either from, starved or fed megalopae being unable to molt to the next juvenile stage. The longer resistance of starved juveniles produced from fed megalopae (nine days), compared to that of starved juveniles produced from starved megalopae (five days), indicates that some energy reserves may pass to juvenile, not being totally depleted at

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