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Spawning characteristics of the South African mudcrab Scylla serrata (Forskål) in captivity
Davis, J.A.; Churchill, G.J.; Hecht, T.; Sorgeloos, P. (2005). Spawning characteristics of the South African mudcrab Scylla serrata (Forskål) in captivity, in: (2005). VLIZ Coll. Rep. 33-34(2003-2004). VLIZ Collected Reprints: Marine and Coastal Research in Flanders, 33-34: pp. chapter 68
In: (2005). VLIZ Coll. Rep. 33-34(2003-2004). VLIZ Collected Reprints: Marine and Coastal Research in Flanders, 33-34. Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ): Oostende, more
In: VLIZ Collected Reprints: Marine and Coastal Research in Flanders. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee: Oostende. ISSN 1376-3822, more

Also published as
  • Davis, J.A.; Churchill, G.J.; Hecht, T.; Sorgeloos, P. (2004). Spawning characteristics of the South African mudcrab Scylla serrata (Forskål) in captivity. J. World Aquacult. Soc. 35(2): 121-133. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1749-7345.2004.tb01068.x, more

Available in Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 100283 [ OMA ]

Keywords
    Scylla serrata (Forskål, 1775) [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Davis, J.A.
  • Churchill, G.J.
  • Hecht, T.
  • Sorgeloos, P., more

Abstract
    Scylla serrata is a potential aquaculture species in Southern Africa. Information about its reproductive biology is required as a prerequisite to establishing hatchery technology. Adult female S. serrata were caught in the Umlalazi estuary on the subtropical east coast of South Africa and kept in captivity to observe and record spawning characteristics. Data collected included crab size and mass, time in captivity prior to spawning, fecundity per batch, relative fecundity, individual egg mass and size, size of zoea 1 larvae, incubation time, and hatch success rate. Of the 119 crabs kept in captivity 83% spawned in the maturation system— most within 40 d of capture. The crabs were highly fecund (mean relative fecundity per batch = 10,655 ± 4,069 eggs/g female) and the majority of the batches hatched within 288 h (12 d) at 27 C. Spawning in captivity occurred throughout the year, with a peak in late winter/early spring. This differs slightly from records of ovarian maturity stages of the crabs in the wild. A pattern of synchronous spawning was recorded where the females were observed to extrude their eggs in groups, commonly within 3 d of one another, separated by long periods of inactivity, suggesting an exogenous spawning cue. A total of 1,374,488 zoea larvae were obtained per kg of female per month. This means that if sufficient mature females can be caught from the wild, these could be used for stocking hatchery operations. The crabs were easy to maintain, mature, and spawn in captivity. This will facilitate future domestication which will eventually reduce the need for wild caught broodstock. The spawning characteristics of South African S. serrata fit in well with those observed for the genus throughout its distribution implying that ecological and fisheries management could be similar.

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