Date of Award

Spring 1982

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

John R. McConaugha

Committee Member

Anthony J. Provenzano

Committee Member

Phillip R. Mundy

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35A55


Fertilized embryos of the grass shrimp Palamonetes pugio Holthuis (Decapoda; Caridea) were exposed to two levels of salinity [5 ppt (exposed) and 20 ppt (control)] during incubation to determine the extent to which embryonic adaptation influences subsequent larval development. Larval response to embryonic exposure was measured at three salinities (5 ppt, 10 ppt, and 20 ppt) as the fraction of larvae surviving to metamorphosis and the duration (in days) of larval development. The survival rate of larvae hatched from control, or non-adapted, embryos was significantly influenced by rearing salinity. The differences in survival of pre-adapted larvae (exposed group), however, were not significant at any of the three rearing salinities. In the control group, mean survival rates at 5 ppt, 10 ppt, and 20 ppt were 84.2%, 95.8%, and 100%, respectively. In the exposed group, mean survival at the same rearing salinities were 93.6%, 98.2%, and 96.6%, respectively. Between-group comparisons (i.e. exposed versus control) show that at 5 ppt larvae hatched from pre-adapted embryos exhibited significantly enhanced survival when compared to larvae hatched from control embryos. Conversely, at 20 ppt survival of pre-adapted larvae was significantly diminished. Larval duration was not significantly influenced by salinity in either experimental group. The median time to metamorphosis was 14.80 days in the control group and 14.67 days in the exposed group.


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