Successful spawning of cultured Penaeus monodon Fabricius after eyestalk ablation
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Preliminary experiments resulted in successful spawning of captive stock of the prawn Penaeus monodon, or “sugpo”, to complete the life cycle and produce a viable F1 generation of larvae. Gonadal development was induced using eyestalk ablation techniques on sexually mature females. Removal of one eyestalk was found to be sufficient to induce gonadal development, whereas bilateral ablation indirectly resulted in high mortality of the treated females. By comparison, successful spawning had not occurred in unablated animals after 9 months. Fry hatched from wild adult stock and reared to 25-day postlarvae were further impounded in brackishwater experimental ponds and reared for 4 months. A transfer of 1 500 animals were then made to marine pens. After a further 10 months, 600 animals were selected for the experiment; healthy females were ablated unilaterally and placed with 100 males for a further 9 months. Of the remaining 400 specimens, 200 were used as controls and the remainder ablated bilaterally, Seven of the 23-month old females with one eyestalk removed had spawned successfully by January 27, 1976. Egg numbers, hatching rate and larval survival compared favorably with data obtained from females of oceanic origin. It is not known if the success of the experiment was entirely due to the effect of ablation or to the choice of a suitable environment. Work is continuing to induce gonadal development under more closely controlled conditions to overcome the inadequate and unreliable supply of spawners.