Experiments in Attempted Interspecific and Interpopulational Hybridzation of Grass Shrimp of the Genus Palaemonetes (Caridea Palaemonidae)

Date of Award

Spring 1978

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Anthony J. Provenzano

Committee Member

John R. Holsinger

Committee Member

Ronald E. Johnson

Committee Member

Harris H. White

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35 B67


The present study investigates the interfertility of Palaemonetes populations, Interspecific crosses were attempted between representatives of sympatric :populations of P. pugio, P. vulgaris, and P. intermedius, Intraspecific crosses were undertaken between geographically separated :populations of P. pugio. Laboratory conditions of 25°c, 25°/oo, and 14.5 hour photoperiod per day were maintained for all breeding attempts, Under these conditions interspecific hybridization of Palaemonetes pugio and P. vulgaris was not feasible. P. intermedius could not be hybridized with P. pugio and P. vulgaris. At 40 days of age P. pugio juveniles were significantly larger than P. vulgaris juveniles of the same age. In addition, P. pugio juveniles appeared to be fully developed in the adult characteristics investigated, whereas, P. vulgaris juveniles were not, Neither species had developed complete sexual dimorphism at 40 days of age.

Intraspecific hybridization between representatives of P. pugio populations from Gulf Breeze, Florida, and Rudee Inlet, Virginia Beach, Virginia, was successful, producing larvae from all types of crosses attempted. Survival rates for inter:populational crosses involving Rudee Inlet females and Gulf Breeze males were significantly lower than the survival rates of the intra: populational control crosses. Intra-populational hatch sizes from Rudee Inlet P. pugio were significantly larger than the hatch sizes of the other three mating types.

Extended larval development time resulted in increased length of post-larvae among Palaemonetes pugio and P. vulgaris progeny.


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