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Captive breeding of fire shrimp (Lysmata debelius) under Sri Lankan conditions


H. A. S. U. Hettiarachchi ,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About H. A. S. U.
Postgraduate Institute of Agriculture
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U. Edirisinghe

University of Peradeniya, Peradeniya, LK
About U.
Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture
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Lysmata debelius, commonly known as the Fire Shrimp or Scarlet Cleaner Shrimp is a highly demanded, pricy marine crustacean exported from Sri Lanka. However, information on captive breeding technology has not been reported so far in the country. Currently, majority of L. debelius exported from Sri Lanka, is captured from the Indian Ocean, thus creating a threat of extinction of this indigenous species if not sustainably managed. Even in the global scale, the major obstacle in commercial production of L. debelius is the poor survival of larvae accompanied by the lengthy larval life. Hence, this study was conducted with the objective of developing a captive breeding protocol and a larviculture technology as viable solutions to those problems. Purified natural sea water was used and natural environment was simulated. An effective broodstock diet was identified. Spawning chamber where water was conditioned with the diatom Chaetoceros gracillis was used for spawning. Larviculture was performed in glass aquariums of 108 L. Feeding regime was developed for day 1-4, day 5-12, and day 13 to juvenile stage. Under the newly developed protocol, the duration of metamorphosis of larvae to juveniles was 50-90 days post hatching with the survival rate of 12.7 ± 0.1% to 18.35 ± 0.15%, reporting the lowest larval duration and the highest survival rate reported so far for captive breeding of L. debelius anywhere in the world. Survival of juvenile shrimps was 100%. Experience of larviculture trials over the years was instrumental in developing this successful methodology. These results lay a firm foundation for future research and development of marine ornamental shrimp culture technology in Sri Lanka.
How to Cite: Hettiarachchi, H.A.S.U. and Edirisinghe, U., 2016. Captive breeding of fire shrimp (Lysmata debelius) under Sri Lankan conditions. Tropical Agricultural Research, 28(1), pp.88–99. DOI:
Published on 15 Dec 2016.
Peer Reviewed


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