Factors controlling mortality of Red Sea Brachyuran crab larvae in rearing systems

Document Type : Primary Research paper



Larviculture of brachyurans is essential for the purpose of systematics, conservation and other considerations. In this review, design of crab larval rearing apparatus and information on larval nutrition are reviewed and discussed. Studies have shown that crab larvae survived better in relatively smaller vessels than in bigger ones. The ‘‘planktokreisel’’-based system allows larvae to develop with minimal mechanical stress, while providing adequate water renewal and circulation. Aeration is also another vital factor in rearing systems. Crab larvae cannot metamorphose to the subsequent stages on diets consisting solely of algae, protists and non-living particles. Considering the mouth size of first-formed zoea of Leucosiidae and Xanthidae, unconventional starter live feeds like nauplii of copepods are worth culturing for ensuring high feeding success. Detritus, bacterial diversity and dissolved amino acids are other unexplored areas demanding further study. The contents of this brief review would be helpful in designing a crab larval culture system and in reducing rearing associated mortality through better nutrition and controlling other associated factors.