The following is from “‘Opae Obstacles,” published by the University of Hawaii at Hilo in PRISM (Partnerships for Reform through Investigative Science and Mathematics):
Some crustaceans including spiny lobsters and crabs have a large number of eggs that are held in the swimmerets beneath the muscular tail. Often the eggs are released to be part of the floating plankton that drifts with the currents. While they produce a very large number of eggs, in nature, relatively few of the hatchlings, or larvae survive. In contrast, ‘opae ‘ula have relatively few eggs (10 to 20) but with a high hatch and survival rate. These eggs are brooded for about 38 days under the body of the female, near the swimmerets. Researchers have noticed that these “berried females” typically stay in dark, sheltered places during brooding. Once eggs hatch, free-swimming larvae are produced. These larvae will molt, or shed their shells 4 to 5 times before the megalopal stage (post-larval) of development. After two weeks, the megalopal larvae transform into juveniles, which increase in length until they are full adults. The main differences between juveniles and adults are size and the ability to breed (which comes with age). Adult ‘opae ‘ula females can reproduce more than once per year. Adults are known to live for up to 20 years. This entire process is called the life-cycle.
18 Sep. 2014 – Tank Started
20 Sep. 2014 – Began this blog to organize info about opae-ula and to record my activities.
24 Oct. 2014 – Evolving Tanks
19 Nov. 2014 – New 10-gallon Tank – “How Tough Are These Little Guys?”
20 Nov. 2014 – 10-gallon Tank: New Light 11/20/14
21 Nov. 2014 – Filter On, Filter Off: Day 1