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California Red Rock Shrimp Development. All research reported here was conducted in the Aquatic Nursery in 2008. Here in the Aquatic Nursery we are studying development of baby red rock shrimp. The adult female in this picture is gravid (pregnant).

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slide1

California Red Rock Shrimp Development

All research reported here was conducted in the Aquatic Nursery in 2008

slide2

Here in the Aquatic Nursery we are studying development of baby red rock shrimp.

The adult female in this picture is gravid (pregnant).

Under her abdomen she is carrying about 3,000 eggs!

slide3

To track growing eggs, we take a small sample from the mother.

The sample is photographed under a microscope every few days to track development, which helps us predict when the larvae will hatch.

Here we can see some cells in a baby shrimp starting to form the body!

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13 days after fertilization, the eggs are fully developed and ready to hatch.

Look at the black eyes and golden insides!

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Once the eggs are fully developed, they give off a chemical that the mother can smell.

This smell is the mother’s cue to agitate the eggs and force hatching. This is similar to the way we crack open a chicken egg.

Watch the next three slides to see the first larvae hatch!

slide10

Planktonic baby red rock shrimp

Baby shrimp are born as plankton.

They remain planktonic for

2-3 months before they settle on the ocean floor.

Plankton = unable to swim against the currents

slide11

Red rock shrimp will undergo physical changes in their body, called metamorphosis.

This is similar to a caterpillar spinning a cocoon and then weeks later transforming into a butterfly.

Metamorphosis = changes in body structure

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Here the eyes grow into stalks angled away from the head!

1 days post hatching 4 days post hatching

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Look at how the tail split and changed shape!

8 days post hatching 23 days post hatching

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Here new peloped buds and legs grew!

40 days post hatching 45 days post hatching

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After metamorphosis is complete, they look like this.

This baby is 61 days old and ready to settle!

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Here is the last stage of growth known as settlement.

Settlement = attachment of a larval animal to substrate or the sea floor