Publication details

Adult Triops cancriformis (Pancrustacea: Notostraca) mediates the hatching rate of its resting eggs

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Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Hydrobiologia
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords Cannibalism; Chemical communication; Conspecific cues; Egg predation; Hatching stimuli; Large branchiopods
Description The resting eggs of large branchiopods do not hatch all at once during a hydroperiod; instead, a fraction of the eggs are left dormant to cope with unstable conditions in temporary wetlands. In order to maximize fitness, the fraction that terminates diapause is modified by signals indicating habitat suitability and biotic interactions. Here, in a laboratory experiment, we investigate the effect of conspecific cues on the hatching time and hatching rate of resting eggs from Triops cancriformis (Bosc, 1801). While hatching time was not significantly affected by conspecific cues, the effect of these cues on hatching rate was highly significant, with hatching rate increasing with increasing concentration of conspecific cues. This indicates that alongside environmental factors, conspecific cues also have the power to terminate the diapause of Triops resting eggs. In addition to indicating suitable conditions, such cues could also act as a mechanism for reducing egg cannibalism by adults, which are predominantly benthic feeders. As such, our results suggest that the response of large branchiopod encysted embryos to conspecific chemical cues could have evolved as a response to the feeding strategy of their adult stages; however, more research will be needed to fully understand the mechanism(s) behind this response.
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