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    • Article

      Embryonic and larval development of hatchery-reared silver therapon Leiopotherapon plumbeus (Perciformes: Terapontidae) 

      FA Aya, VSN Nillasca, LMB Garcia & Y Takagi - Ichthyological Research, 2016 - Springer Verlag
      The embryonic and larval development of hatchery-reared silver therapon Leiopotherapon plumbeus are described to provide essential information on the early life history of this species. Egg size, larval size at hatching, yolk resorption rate, onset of feeding and development of some morphological characters were examined. Fertilized eggs (430–610 µm in diameter) were spherical, yellowish, demersal and slightly adhesive. First cleavage occurred 6 min post-fertilization and embryos hatched 21–24 h post-fertilization under ambient temperature of 27.5 ± 0.1 °C. Newly hatched larvae [1.79 ± 0.04 mm in total length (TL)] with yolk volume of 0.579 ± 0.126 mm3 had no functional or pigmented eyes, mouth or digestive tract. The eyes became fully pigmented and mouth opened [31 and 36.5 hours post-hatching (hph)] shortly before yolk resorption at 39 hph and when larvae had grown to 2.65 ± 0.14 mm in TL. Some morphological characters such as total length, pre-anal length and eye diameter decreased following yolk resorption, which also coincided with the development of foraging capacities shortly before exogenous feeding was initiated. L. plumbeus larvae initiated exogenous feeding at 54 hph, indicating a short (15 h after yolk resorption) transitional feeding period. Larval growth at the early stages of development (54–72 hph) was rapid and steadily increased from 288 to 720 hph, when larvae, 12.05 ± 4.02 mm in TL, closely resembled the external characteristics of their adult conspecifics.