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Individual growth pattern of juvenile stages of the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) reared under laboratory conditions

Yang, Zhigang, Wei, Banghong, Liu, Qibin, Cheng, Yongxu, Zhou, Junyu
Aquaculture international 2018 v.26 no.2 pp. 645-657
Eriocheir sinensis, abdomen, crabs, females, hatcheries, juveniles, larvae, males, molting, rearing, sexual dimorphism, specific growth rate, survival rate
The specific growth pattern of Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis, during the juvenile stages was investigated under an individual rearing system for 160 days, including parent crab selection, hatchery management, larval stages, and juvenile cultivation. There were 36 males and 40 females developed from megalopa to the juvenile crab stage 10 (M–C10), with a total survival of 38%. The survival rate in early stages (M–C3) remained less than 80%, which was lower than that in latter stages (> 90%). The intermoult duration sharply increased in an exponential manner (y = 3.1059e⁰.²¹⁴⁹ˣ R² = 0.9383) from 4 ± 0.54 days to 38 ± 6.26 days. The increments in wet weight, carapace width, and carapace length per moult were recorded throughout the experiment, which followed certain patterns with progressing moulting time. In addition, moulting increment in wet weight varied greatly from C1 to C6, with a minimum increment of 108.09%. Meanwhile, the specific growth rate markedly increased in the early stages and subsequently decreased, mainly because of significant increases in the intermoult duration starting from C6 stage. Males and females could be differentiated at C4 based on sexual dimorphism in the abdomen, and the most distinct changes in female and male juvenile crabs occurred in the shape of the abdomen and amount of cheliped fluff, respectively.