Research Article: Sexual system, reproductive cycle and embryonic development of the red-striped shrimp Lysmata vittata, an invader in the western Atlantic Ocean

Date Published: January 15, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Douglas Fernandes Rodrigues Alves, Laura S. López Greco, Samara de Paiva Barros-Alves, Gustavo Luis Hirose, Arda Yildirim.


Several decapod crustaceans are invaders, but little is known about the biological characteristics that potentiate the success of these decapods in invaded ecosystems. Here, we evaluate and describe some aspects of the reproductive biology and development of Lysmata vittata, an invasive shrimp species in the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, we intend to provide important insights into the biology of invasion by comparing the reproductive traits of this shrimp with some of the predictions about aquatic invasive species. We used experimental and laboratory observations to evaluate the functionality of protandric simultaneous hermaphroditism (PSH), the macro and microscopic development of the ovarian portion of the ovotestes, the reproductive cycle, and the embryonic development of L. vittata. We confirm the functionality of PSH in L. vittata. This shrimp has a rapid reproductive cycle; the ovarian portion of the ovotestes develops (mean ± SD) 6.28 ± 1.61 days after spawning. Embryonic development also occurs over a short time, with a mean (± SD) of 8.37 ± 0.85 days. The larvae hatch without macroscopically visible yolk reserves. Our study provides evidence that the invasive shrimp L. vittata has reproductive and embryonic developmental characteristics (i.e., short generation time and high reproductive capacity) that may be favorable to the establishment of populations during invasive processes.

Partial Text

Several decapod crustaceans are invaders, e.g., Eriocheir sinensis H. Milne Edwards, 1853 [1]; Charybdis japonica (Milne-Edwards, 1861) [2]; Charybdis hellerii (A. Milne-Edwards, 1867) [3–5]; Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896 [6,7]; Neocaridina davidi (Bouvier, 1904) [8]. However, little is known about the biological characteristics that potentiate the success of these decapods in invaded ecosystems. Understanding the biological characteristics that facilitate the establishment of populations outside their natural limits could be used to predict future invasions. Some hypothesized attributes of successful aquatic invaders, including decapods, are: 1) abundant and widely distributed within their original range; 2) wide environmental tolerance; 3) high genetic variability; 4) short generation time; 5) rapid growth; 6) early sexual maturity; 7) high reproductive capacity; 8) broad diet (opportunistic feeding); 9) gregariousness; 10) natural mechanisms of rapid dispersal; and 11) being commensal with human activity (e.g., ship ballast-water transport) [9]. In this study, we evaluated the reproductive biology and embryonic development of Lysmata vittata (Stimpson, 1860), an invader in the Atlantic Ocean.




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