Effects of temperature and salinity on larval survival and development of the western school prawn Metapenaeus dalli

Document Type : Original Article


1 School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

2 Australian Centre for Applied Aquaculture Research, South Metropolitan TAFE, Fremantle, Australia

3 Department of Water, Perth, Australia



The effects of temperature and salinity on the survival and development of larval Metapenaeus dalli were investigated in two experiments. First, the effects of four temperatures of 22.6, 25.8, 29.4 and 32.6 °C on survival and development time were examined from the Nauplius VI to the Mysis I sub-stage. Survival was significantly lower at 32.6 °C than at 22.6 and 25.8 °C. Development times differed significantly across all temperatures, decreasing linearly with temperature from 161.5 h at 22.6 °C to 74.8 h at 29.4 °C then decreased slightly to 71.4 h at 32.6 °C. Second, the combined effects of three temperatures (21.4, 26.5 and 29.7 °C) and three salinities (30, 35 and 40‰) on survival and development were quantified over a 48 h period from the Nauplius VI sub-stage. Only salinity was found to influence survival, with peak survival (77.7%) found to occur at the control salinity (~35‰). Any increase or decrease in salinity from this value resulted in a decrease in survival, with the lowest salinity tested (30‰) having a significantly negative effect on survival (58.4%) when compared to the control. Only temperature was found to influence the rate of development, with significant increases in development index values being recorded as temperature increased. The recommended conditions for optimal survival and development of M. dalli larvae as determined by this study are, therefore, 25.8 °C and 35‰.