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Zoologia (Curitiba)

Print version ISSN 1984-4670


QUEIROZ, Luciano D.; ABRUNHOSA, Fernando A.  and  MACIEL, Cristiana R.. Ontogenesis and functional morphology of the digestive system of the freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium amazonicum (Decapoda: Palaemonidae). Zoologia (Curitiba, Impr.) [online]. 2011, vol.28, n.3, pp.395-402. ISSN 1984-4670.

The appropriate feeding regime for larvae and post-larvae of crustacean decapods is essential for successful larval culture. Reports on the development and morphology of the mouthparts and foregut of these crustaceans have aided in the selection of appropriate larval foodstuffs and consequently increased larval survival and growth rate during development. In the present study, the functional morphology of foregut and mouthparts was investigated in larvae and post-larvae of the freshwater prawn M. amazonicum (Heller, 1862). From observations gathered on both the outer and inner feeding apparati the first stage larvae have obligatory lecithotrophy and feeding behaviour is initiated after molting to the second stage. The foregut of the larvae undergoes diverse morphological changes during larval development and the larval foregut of this species is primarily a mixing organ due to the absence of gastric mills and similar structures. After metamorphosis into post-larvae, drastic morphological changes occur in the foregut and mouthparts to adapt the animals to feed on the greater diversity of foods that are available in their new benthic habitat.

Keywords : Foregut; larval development; mouthparts; neotropical species.

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