Morphometrics and preliminary biology of the caridean shrimp Nauticaris marionis Bate, 1888, at the Prince Edward Islands (South Ocean), 37° 50'E, 46° 45'S

Kuun, Patrick John (1998) Morphometrics and preliminary biology of the caridean shrimp Nauticaris marionis Bate, 1888, at the Prince Edward Islands (South Ocean), 37° 50'E, 46° 45'S. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

Carapace length, as the best measure of N. marionis body size, is precisely defined. It is shown that N. marionis is a partially protandric hermaphrodite. N. marionis appear to hatch just before April each year, with a little hatching persisting until May. The vast majority of juveniles develop into males. The majority of males transmutate into females in their third year. By April/May the transmutation is probably complete. Reproduction can occur before all male secondary characteristics have been lost. A small minority of individuals develop directly into females without passing through a male phase. At least some of these females can be initially recognized after they have developed mature ovaries by the presence of appendices internae on their first pleopods, a male copulatory structure which all juvenile N. marionis possess. Too few gravid females were recovered to make any statement on whether spawning can occur before this structure is lost. Such females may lose their first pleopod appendices internae in one moult, possibly just before spawning, which may be in late April/early May. Such individuals seem to mature into ovigerous females at a slightly smaller carapace length than do the majority of females which have had a male-phase past. A few females which have passed through a male phase seem to begin developing ovaries at about this small carapace length as well. Once the appendices internae have been lost there appears to be no way of identifying any given female's past life-history. It would seem that during the first year of life N. marionis survive in undetected localities, moult into juveniles, and then settle amongst the benthos from the plankton. Diurnal vertical migration then occurs up to an unknown larger size. It is not known whether the larvae are initially planktonic or not. It is possible that settling of small N. marionis onto the benthos only begins after November. Whether the appendices masculinae of some males only begin growing after they have settled Abstract XIX onto the benthos is unknown, but for the majority at least this begins whilst they are planktonic juveniles. Individuals older than five years are undetectable using samples of the sizes analyzed in this thesis, but they may well persist until quite an advanced age. Niche separation between smaller and larger N. marionis individuals may occur. Diel vertical migration may occur to some extent amongst large N. marionis. Itinerant euphausiids may contribute substantially to the maintenance of top predator populations at the archipelago, either through direct predation by those predators or via predation by N. marionis, which in turn are consumed by those predators. N. marionis itself is an opportunistic feeder, although the majority of its prey seem to be suspension feeders, both benthic and pelagic. In multisample situations, ageing of N. marionis cohorts is made less subjective if one utilizes the phenomenon of synchronized sexual inversion. The von Bertalanffy growth parameters for N. marionis are tentatively identified as k = 0.2353/year, L_ = 12.69mm, to = -0.2828 years and WW_ = 2.03g. The programme FiSAT is discussed, having been found to be extremely useful, but having also been found to have certain faults. Various hypotheses are proposed and are put forward as suggestions for future studies.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Shrimps, Prince Edward Islands, Nauticaris marionis Bate, Morphometrics
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology > Invertebrates
Q Science > QL Zoology
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Zoology & Entomology
ID Code:2859
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:22 May 2012 14:11
Last Modified:22 May 2012 14:11
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