Time of metamorphosis and postlarval development were found to be unrelated in the palaemonid shrimp Macrobrachium rosenbergii (de Man). However, in addition to being influenced by environmental factors, the tendency of a particular palaemonid (Palaemonetes spp.) larva to pass through a given number of larval instars may be inheritable. It is suggested that variation in the duration of the planktonic larval phase and the number of larval instars may help to ensure the dispersal of sibling larvae and thus enhances the survival of the parental genotypes. Also, such variation may increase the probability of recruitment to existing parental populations and the likelihood of successful colonization of freshwater environments. © 1979.
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