Brazilian Journal of Oceanography
On-line version ISSN 1982-436X
MIES, Miguel et al. Early development, survival and growth rates of the giant clam Tridacna crocea (Bivalvia: Tridacnidae). Braz. j. oceanogr. [online]. 2012, vol.60, n.2, pp. 127-133. ISSN 1982-436X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-87592012000200003.
Tridacnid clams are conspicuous inhabitants of Indo-Pacific coral reefs and are traded and cultivated for the aquarium and food industries. In the present study, daily growth rates of larvae of the giant clam Tridacna crocea were determined in the laboratory during the first week of life. Adults were induced to spawn via intra-gonadal serotonin injection through the byssal orifice. After spawning oocytes were collected, fertilized and kept in 3 L glass beakers and raceways treated with antibiotics to avoid culture contamination. Larvae were fed twice with the microalga Isochrysis galbana and zooxanthellae were also offered twice during the veliger stage (days 4 and 6). Larval length was measured using a digitizing tablet coupled to a microcomputer. Larval mortality was exponential during the first 48 hours of life declining significantly afterwards. Mean growth rate was 11.3 μm day-1, increasing after addition of symbionts to 18.0 μm day-1. Survival increased to ca. 75% after the addition of zooxanthellae. The results describe the growth curve for T. crocea larvae and suggest that the acquisition of symbionts by larvae may be useful for larval growth and survival even before larvae have attained metamorphosis.
Keywords : Tridacnidae; Ontogenesis; Zooxanthellae; Early growth; Symbiosis; Culture.