Commercially important penaeid shrimp larvae in the estuaries of Goa

C.T. Achuthankutty


Larval stages of the penaeid shrimps, Metapenaeus dobsoni (Miers), M. affinis (Milne - Edwards) and Penaeus merguiensis De Man were mostly distributed at the lower reaches of Mandovi and Zuari estuaries. While larvae of M. dobsoni and M. affinis were encountered largely during the postmonsoon season, those of P. merguiensis were abundant during the premonsoon season. Zuari estuary sustained high density of larval stages of all the three species as compared to Mandovi estuary and those of M. dobsoni occurred in significantly high numbers in both the estuaries. larval distribution indicated a continuous breeding activity for both species of Metapenaeus with a common peak during Dec - Jan. In the case of P. merguiensis breeding was found to be discontinuous with a principal peak during February. Larval stages of all the species were either poorly distributed or absent during the monsoon season. Temperature did not seem to have any important role in their distribution as the annual or seasonal variations were marginal. Salinity, though, was subjected to pronounced seasonal fluctuations, did not appear to play a singular role in their distribution. Larval distribution in the estuaries was found to be a reliable tool for studying the breeding behaviour of adults in the sea


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