JSU Student Symposium 2020
Preliminary Investigations into the Metrics That Can Be Used to Assess Grass Shrimp for Environmental and Ecological Studies



Faculty Mentor

James Rayburn, Biology


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Houston Cole Library, 11th Floor | 2:45-2:55 p.m.


Grass shrimp (Palaemonetes pugio) are decapod Crustaceans that are very important in ecological food webs of coastal salt marshes of the Southeastern US. As detritovores they are critical in nutrient cycling. They are also important as food sources for many game fish larvae. The objectives of this research were to first, determine a non-invasive way to estimate clutch sizes through the use of pictures. Second, to perfect methods to determine growth of adults and larvae overtime in the laboratory. Third, to determine recovery time of grass shrimp female who have had their embryos removed. Palaemonetes pugio were collected at Dauphin Island, Alabama at Airport Marsh. The shrimp were measured for length and identified as either a male, female, or juvenile. Four males and Two females were placed into three separate tanks and measured over a month period. Remaining shrimp were placed in a 55-gallon tank for future use. Salinity was adjusted to 20 ppt. A single gravid female was selected, and measurements and photos were taken of her eggs attached to her abdomen. Then, her eggs were removed using forceps and after her eggs were collected, they were counted under a microscope. The female was placed in a separate tank and observed over time. The eggs were placed in an incubator at 27oC, rotated 60 rms. Twenty-four eggs from the female were placed in 1 well each of a 24 well plate and the rest of the eggs were placed in petri dishes. Every weekday embryos were observed and pictures taken using a microscope and a MotiConnect application for analysis. Results indicate that the methods show promise for estimating the numbers of embryos in ecological studies. More data needs to be collected to verify estimation of these shrimp metrics.


student presentations, student posters, ecology, shrimp


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Biology | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology

Presentation Information

Tomas, R. (2020, 13 February). Preliminary investigations into the metrics that can be used to assess Grass shrimp for environmental and ecological studies. Poster presented at the 2020 JSU Student Symposium, Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL.

Preliminary Investigations into the Metrics That Can Be Used to Assess Grass Shrimp for Environmental and Ecological Studies