eCite Digital Repository

The Achilles heel for spiny lobsters: the energetics of the non-feeding post-larval stage


Fitzgibbon, QP and Jeffs, AG and Battaglene, SC, The Achilles heel for spiny lobsters: the energetics of the non-feeding post-larval stage, Fish and Fisheries, 15, (2) pp. 312-326. ISSN 1467-2979 (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/faf.12018


Spiny lobsters are highly valuable seafood species that are captured and marketed in more than 90 countries. After more than 30 years of stable catches, spiny lobster fisheries in many parts of the world are declining due to decreased recruitment. The planktonic larvae spend up to 2 years in offshore waters, accumulating energy stores to fuel the non-feeding post-larva, or puerulus, to actively migrate onshore and settle. The total energy required by spiny lobster pueruli for cross-shelf migration has not been accurately determined. Recent advances in larval culture have provided the opportunity for the first detailed examination of the swimming performance, respiratory metabolism and nitrogen excretion of spiny lobster (Sagmariasus verreauxi) throughout the puerulus stage. The routine and active metabolic rates of pueruli were lower than for most other decapod larvae, probably to provide greater energy efficiency. However, pueruli were found to have limited time, swimming ability and fuel for active cross-shelf migration. It is estimated that S. verreauxi pueruli require at least 13.8 mg of stored lipid to provide sufficient energy (18.4% DW) to complete the puerulus stage and recruit to coastal habitats. The ability of the preceding phyllosoma larvae to accumulate these reserves, and the presence of favourable oceanographic conditions during the limited time available to the migrating puerulus, are both crucial to subsequent successful recruitment. Spiny lobster recruitment processes appear to be particularly vulnerable to changes in oceanic climate which is likely to contribute to the recent large-scale declines in recruitment to valuable fished populations.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:larval ecology, larval energetics, Palinuridae fisheries, puerulus, recruitment, zooplankton
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Objective Division:Animal Production and Animal Primary Products
Objective Group:Fisheries - wild caught
Objective Field:Wild caught crustaceans (excl. rock lobster and prawns)
UTAS Author:Fitzgibbon, QP (Associate Professor Quinn Fitzgibbon)
UTAS Author:Battaglene, SC (Associate Professor Stephen Battaglene)
ID Code:91706
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:45
Deposited By:Sustainable Marine Research Collaboration
Deposited On:2014-05-27
Last Modified:2017-11-04

Repository Staff Only: item control page