Comparison of nutritional status of field and laboratory reared Balanus amphitrite Darwin (Cirripedia: Thoracica) larvae and implication of starvation
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Experiments were carried out to evaluate the influence of rearing temperature and food concentration (20 and 30 degrees C, 1x10 sup(5) and 2x10 sup(5) cells ml sup(-1)) on the starvation threshold and nucleic acid content of the larvae of Balanus amphitrite. The larvae were also field-reared using micro-enclosures. Laboratory-reared larvae were larger in size than the field-reared larvae. An increase in size, DNA content and instar index of the starved II instar larvae was observed indicating that the absence of food may not be fatal to this early instar. The temperature at which larvae were raised and the food concentration had variable influence on the capacity to withstand starvation. Exposure to increased temperatures during starvation eliminated the effect of doubling food concentration during their feeding period prior to starvation. The larvae reared at 20 degrees C had comparatively lower nucleic acid content. The laboratory-reared larvae had ca. 1.7 times greater RNA:DNA ratio than larvae raised at comparable temperature in the field.
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