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Volume 43 - Number 3 - 2008

Molting behavior and growth in the giant barnacle Austromegabalanus psittacus (Molina, 1782)

Daniel A. López1, Eduardo A. Espinoza1, Boris A. López1 and Alexis F. Santibañez1


1Universidad de Los Lagos, Departamento de Acuicultura y Recursos Acuáticos, Avenida Fuchslocher 1305, Casilla 933, Osorno, Chile




The effect of temperature and photoperiod on molt production in juvenile specimens of the acorn barnacle Austromegabalanus psittacus (Molina, 1782) was evaluated under controlled conditions. Growth was determined both under controlled and natural conditions. The molt frequency, intermolt period and instantaneous growth rates of the carino rostral lengths were measured in specimens subject to two temperature conditions (10oC and 16oC) and photoperiods (8 hours light: 16 hours darkness and 16 hours light: 8 hours darkness). Growth of specimens in natural conditions was evaluated in substrates suspended from floating rafts in Metri Bay (41o36'S; 72o43'W) at two depths: between 1 and 2 m and between 4 and 6 m, during the autumn-winter and spring-summer seasons. Molt frequency was greater at 16oC than at 10oC, with no evidence of variations due to photoperiod. The intermolt periods were greater at 10oC than at 16oC and during the photoperiods 8:16 than at 16:8. Instantaneous growth rates, on the other hand, were greater at 10oC than at 16oC and under photoperiod conditions of 8:16 than at 16:8. No relation was observed between instantaneous growth rate and molt frequency. Under natural conditions, a larger increase in length was observed in individuals growing at greater depths. The results obtained in a controlled environment and in the natural environment were consistent, given that the higher growth reported in suspended systems at greater depths, was associated with lower luminosity conditions and lower temperatures; a similar situation was observed under controlled conditions


Key words: Balanidae, giant barnacle, temperature, photoperiod, Chile




1Laboratorio de Zooplancton, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología,Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. A. P. 70-305, 04510 México, D. F. México
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