Crayfish From The Clear Lagoon Waters Of The Great Barrier Reef

Panulirus ornatus (also known as tropical rock lobster, ornate rock lobster, ornate spiny lobster, and ornate tropical rock lobster) is a big edible spiny lobster that has been successfully raised in captivity. Panulirus ornatus is found across the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea and KwaZulu-Natal in the west to Japan and Fiji in the east. These lobsters may be found at modest depths of up to 50 meters.

The lobster is netted or speared in much of its range, although a commercial fishery has operated in Northeast Australia since 1966, and the species’ harvesting is managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.] The species currently exists in the Mediterranean as a migrant through the Suez Canal. The food of P. ornatus includes a wide range of invertebrates, from bivalves to gastropods and even other tiny crustaceans.

Carotenoids provide energy as well as other physiological benefits to these lobsters, including reproductive success, post-larval development, antioxidants, and even stress tolerance. When growing in an aquaculture environment, many of these lobster species rely on crustacean feeds. Carotenoids, notable astaxanthin, are a common component in these meals. Many diets also contain nutrients derived from blue and green-lipped mussels, however, studies have shown that the carotenoid levels provided by these feeds alone are insufficient for lobster growth.

Panulirus ornatus migrates from the Torres Strait to Yule Island in the Gulf of Papua to reproduce every year. Ovarian development, ma.ting, and early oviposition occur during migration, which occurs in mid to late August. Larval release happens when the Panulirus ornatus population completes its migration and lands on the reefs of the Gulf of Papua’s eastern shore. Panulirus ornatus has a mating season that lasts from November through March or April. After migrating to the Gulf of Papua, the sexes separate according to water depth. Males swim in shallower water, while females swim in deeper water until the eggs hatch.

Female Panulirus ornatus can have up to three broods, with each consecutive brood becoming smaller. The majority of breeding adults are three years old. Ma.ting males are bigger than females, with carapace lengths ranging from 100-150 mm for males and 90-120 mm for females. After breeding, breeding adults have a significant de.ath rate. There is no breeding adult return migration. Reproductive migration takes place throughout the Gulf of Papua to disseminate larvae in marine currents that promote their distribution near the Torres Strait.

Panulirus ornatus larvae must migrate as juveniles from the eastern coast of Australia to the adult habitat in the northern Torres Strait. They then stay on a certain reef complex for 1-2 years until they reach reproductive age and go on the yearly mass migration to reproduce.

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