Improving a tool to predict time of hatch of American lobster, Homarus americanus, from the Bay of Fundy

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University of New Brunswick


Hatch date affects the survival and settlement success of marine invertebrate larvae. The objective of this study was to determine whether American lobster embryos raised individually detached from a female’s brood can be used to study and simulate the development and hatch of embryos attached to a female’s brood. I raised lobster embryos during the last 50-91 days before their hatch in late spring to early summer, both attached to- and isolated-from female broods, and predicted their hatch based on estimates of embryo development rate and development status at hatch (based on eye size) from this and two published studies. Embryos isolated from their brood had a high hatch rate (>98%) and their development time was comparable to that of their attached siblings, suggesting that they provide a useful tool for future research, including in the context of large-scale ecological or modelling studies of lobster hatch and larval dispersal.