Preliminary Studies on the Rearing of the West African Mangrove Oyster, Crassostrea tulipa, in the Laboratory
The West African mangrove oyster, Crassostrea tulipa has been reared from fertilized eggs through to settled spat in laboratory cultures. The combined influence of temperature and salinity on fertilization success and larval yield was investigated in a 4 x 4 design. The early developmental stages and growth of the larvae of the species were also studied. Temperature had a more profound influence on the early life stages of C. tulipa than salinity. Combined temperature and salinity ranges of 25-30°C and 20-30‰ respectively, supported satisfactory fertilization and larval development. Eggs which were fertilized and incubated under these conditions developed into straight-hinge veligers within 24 h. When reared at 30°C and 30‰ salinity, the larvae attained competence from 14-18 days and settled successfully on mussel shells. The results are discussed in the light of the environmental background of the species and also compared with records on other species of Crassostrea.