Life history characteristics of the fluvial shrimp Macrobrachium yui (Holthuis, 1950) (Decapoda, Palaemonidae) spawning in the cave streams in northern Laos

in Crustaceana
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


This study aims to understand the reproductive and larval characteristics and the migratory patterns of the shrimp Macrobrachium yui (Holthuis, 1950). We conducted monthly samplings of the adult, juvenile and larval shrimp at fixed points in the Xuang River system in northern Laos. We determined the seasonal changes in size frequency distribution, difference in size among sampling sites, occurrence of drifting larvae, and physiological condition of the shrimp. The size distributions of M. yui differed significantly throughout the year among sections of the river system: small-sized juveniles occurred in the Xuang River, various size classes in the Pho Stream, and larger adults in the Bokengsakang cave stream. The gonadosomatic index of females is the highest in the Bokengsakang cave stream and the gonadosomatic index of males is the highest in the Pho Stream. Drifting larvae that had already completed morphological development for settlement on the substrate occurred only in the Bokengsakang cave stream, although the hatched larvae have a free-swimming larval period. The overall results indicate that M. yui females spawn in the Bokengsakang cave stream after mating with males during or before migration to the cave stream, and the hatched larvae remain in the cave stream until settling on the bottom. The life history migration of M. yui is attributed to the early stages of the life cycle, depending strongly on the cave stream.

Life history characteristics of the fluvial shrimp Macrobrachium yui (Holthuis, 1950) (Decapoda, Palaemonidae) spawning in the cave streams in northern Laos

in Crustaceana



AngerK.2013. Neotropical Macrobrachium (Caridea: Palaemonidae): on the biology, origin, and radiation of freshwater-invading shrimp. Journal of Crustacean Biology33: 151-183.

BauerR. T.2013. Amphidromy in shrimps: a life cycle between rivers and the sea. Latin America Journal of Aquatic Research41: 633-650.

BauerR. T.DelahoussayeJ.2008. Life history migrations of the amphidromous river shrimp Macrobrachium ohione from a continental large river system. Journal of Crustacean Biology28: 622-632.

BuenoS. L. de S.RodriguesS. de A.1995. Abbreviated larval development of the freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium iheringi (Ortmann, 1897) (Decapoda, Palaemonidae), reared in the laboratory. Crustaceana68: 665-686.

CaiY.DaiA. Y.1999. Freshwater shrimp (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea) from the Xishuangbanna region of Yunnan Province, southern China. Hydrobiologia400: 211-241.

CaiY.NaiyanetrP.NgP. K. L.2004. The freshwater prawns of the genus Macrobrachium Bate, 1868, of Thailand (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae). Journal of Natural History38: 581-649.

CareyC. C.ChingM. P.CollinsS. M.EarlyA. M.FetzerW. W.ChaiD.HairstonN. G.2011. Predator-dependent diel migration by Halocaridina rubra shrimp (Malacostraca: Atyidae) in Hawaiian anchialine pools. Aquatic Ecology45: 35-41.

ChuK. H.1995. Aspects of reproductive biology of the shrimp Metapenaeus joyneri from the Zhujiang estuary, China. Journal of Crustacean Biology15: 214-219.

CollarO. O.RabeloH.1996. Variation in egg size of the fresh-water prawn Macrobrachium amazonicum (Decapoda: Palaemonidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology16: 684-688.

De GraveS.FransenC. H. J. M.2011. Carideorum catalogus: the recent species of the dendrobranchiate, stenopodidean, procarididean and caridean shrimps (Crustacea: Decapoda). Zoologische Mededelingen85: 195-589.

FielderD. R.1970. The larval development of Macrobrachium australiense Holthuis, 1950 (Decapoda, Palaemonidae), reared in the laboratory. Crustaceana18: 60-74.

FièvetE.DolédecS.LimP.2001. Distribution of migratory fishes and shrimps along multivariate gradients in tropical island stream. Journal of Fish Biology59: 390-402.

HanamuraY.ImaiH.LasassimaO.SouliyamathP.ItoS.2011. Freshwater prawns of the genus Macrobrachium Bate, 1868 (Crustacea, Decapoda, Palaemonidae) from Laos. Zootaxa3025: 1-37.

HobbsH. H.1973. Two new troglobitic shrimps (Decapoda: Alpheidae and Palaemonidae) from Oaxaca, Mexico. Association of Mexican Cave Studies Bulletin5: 73-80.

HobbsH. H.IIIHobbsH. H.Jr.1995. Macrobrachoum catonium, a new species troglobitic shrimp from the Cayo District of Belize (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington108: 50-53.

HolthuisL. B.1950. The Palaemonidae collected by the Siboga and Snellius Expeditions with remarks on other species. The Decapoda of the Siboga expedition. Part X. The Palaemonidae. I. Subfamily Palaemoninae. Siboga-Expeditie Mon. Leiden 39a 9: 1-268.

HolthuisL. B.1977. Cave shrimps (Crustacea Decapoda Natantia) from Mexico — Subterrean fauna of Mexico. Part III. Further results Italian zoological mission to Mexico sponsored by the National Academy of Lincei (1973 and 1975). Problemi attuali di Scienze e di Cultura Accademia nazionale dei Lincei 171: 173-195.

HolthuisL. B.1978. Zoological results of the British speleological expedition to Papua New Guinea 1975. 7. Cavernicolous shrimps (Crustacea Decapoda, Natantia) from New Ireland and the Philippines. Zoologische Mededelingen53: 209-224.

HolthuisL. B.1984. Freshwater prawns (Crustacea Decapoda: Natantia) from subterranean waters of the Gunung Sewu area, central Java, Indonesia. Zoologische Mededelingen58: 141-149.

HolthuisL. B.1986. Decapoda. In: BotosaneanuL. (ed.) Stygofauna Mundi: 589-615. (E. J. BrillLeiden).

IdeguchiK.HamanoT.NakataK.2007. Timing of egg hatch of amphidromous freshwater shrimps in a small river (the Nishida River), western Japan. Fisheries Science73: 961-963.

IguchiK.MizunoN.1990. Diel changes of larval drift among amphidoromous gobies in Japan, especially Rhinogobius brunneus. Journal of Fish Biology37: 255-264.

ImaiH.YanagiharaK.LasasimmaO.KhoungtongbangA.SouliyamathP.ItoS.2014. Genetic isolation among populations of the landlocked freshwater shrimp Macrobrachium yui in the Mekong River basin. Biogeography16: 1-11.

ItoS.KhoungtongbangA.SouliyamathP.LasasimmaO.ViravongS.2011. Ecological characteristics and use of Macrobrachium yui in northern Lao PDR. Catch and Culture17: 24-27.

JalihalD. R.SankolliK. N.ShenoyS.1993. Evolution of larval developmental patterns and the process of freshwaterization in the prawn genus Macrobrachium Bate, 1868 (Decapoda, Palaemonidae). Crustaceana65: 365-376.

JayachandranK. V.2001. Palaemonid prawns: biodiversity taxonomy biology and management. (Science PublishersEnfield, NH).

KempS.1924. Crustacea Decapoda of the Siju Cave, Garo Hills, Assam. Records of the Indian Museum26: 42-48.

KomaiT.FujitaY.2005. A new stygiobiont species of Macrobrachium (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridea: Palaemonidae) from an anchialine cave on Miyako Island, Ryukyu Islands. Zootaxa1021: 13-27.

KomaiT.FujitaY.1981. The effect of salinity and temperature on the larval development of the freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium australiense Holthuis, 1950 from south eastern Queensland, Australia. Aquaculture26: 167-172.

KomaiT.FujitaY.1984. Swimming response to water current stimulus in the freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium australiense Holthuis, 1950. Crustaceana46: 249-256.

LeeC. L.FielderD. R.1979. A mass migration of the freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium australiense Holthuis, 1950 (Decapoda, Palaemonidae). Crustaceana37: 219-222.

LiJ.CaiY.ClarkeA.2006. A new species of troglobitic freshwater prawn of the genus Macrobrachium from southern China (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae). The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology54: 277-282.

LiuM.CaiY.TzengC.2007. Molecular systematics of the freshwater prawn genus Macrobrachium Bate, 1868 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae) inferred from mtDNA sequences, with emphasis on east Asian species. Zoological Studies46: 272-289.

LiuR.LiangX.YanS.1990. A study of the Palaemonidae (Crustacea Decapoda) from China I. Macrobrachium, Leander and Leandrites. Transactions of the Chinese Crustacean Society2: 102-134. [In Chinese with English abstract.]

MarchJ. G.BensteadJ. P.PringleC. M.ScatenaF. N.1998. Migratory drift of larval freshwater shrimps in two tropical streams, Puerto Rico. Freshwater Biology40: 261-273.

MashikoK.1992. Effects of salinity on larval oxygen consumption rates in estuarine and riverine populations of Macrobrachium nipponense (de Haan). Research on Crustacea21: 15-20.

Mejía-OrtízL. M.BaldariF.López-MejíaM.2008. Macrobrachium sbordonii (Decapoda: Palaemonidae), a new stygobitic species of freshwater prawn from Chiapas Mexico. Zootaxa1814: 49-57.

MolletR.XainyaviB.SysombathD.2005. Local ecological knowledge and customary resource tenure for a Macrobrachium fishery on the Nam Khan. In: Proceedings 7th Technical Symposium on Mekong Fisheries: 321-324.

MoriyamaA.YanagisawaY.MizunoN.OmoriK.1998. Starvation of drifting goby larvae due to retention of free embryos in upstream reaches. Environmental Biology of Fishes52: 321-329.

MurphyN. P.AustinC. M.2005. Phylogenetic relationships of the globally distributed freshwater prawn genus Macrobrachium (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae): biogeography, taxonomy and the convergent evolution of abbreviated larval development. Zoologica Scripta34: 187-197.

NakataK.WadaN.ArakiA.HamanoT.2005. Structure and artificial baits for cage traps to capture freshwater Palaemonid shrimps. Aquaculture Science53: 263-274. [In Japanese with English abstract.]

NazariE. M.Simões-CostaM. S.MüllerY. M.AmmarA.DiasM.2003. Comparisons of fecundity, egg size, and egg mass volume of the freshwater prawns Macrobrachium potiuna and Macrobrachium olfersi (Decapoda, Palaemonidae). Journal of Crustacean Biology23: 862-868.

NgP. K. L.1992. On a new species of blackwater prawn, Macrobrachium oxyphilus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridae: Palaemonidae), from peat swamps in Peninsular Malaysia. Zoologische Mededelingen66: 441-445.

NgP. K. L.ChongS. S. C.1992. A note on the taxonomy and larvae of the acid water prawn, Macrobrachium trompii (De Man, 1898) (Crustacea: Decapoda: Caridae: Palaemonidae). Malayan Nature Journal46: 119-129.

OgasawaraY.KoshinoS.TakiY.1979. Responses to salinity in larvae from three local populations of the freshwater shrimp, Macrobrachium nipponense. Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries45: 937-943.

PereiraG.GarcíaJ.1995. Larval development of Macrobrachium reyesi Pereira (Decapoda: Palaemonidae), with a discussion on the origin of abbreviated development in palaemonids. Journal of Crustacean Biology15: 117-133.

PrinceA. E.HumphriesP.2010. The role of dispersal and retention in the early life stages of shrimp in a lowland river. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences67: 720-729.

RomeN. E.ConnerS.BauerR. T.2009. Delivery of hatching larvae to estuaries by an amphidromous river shrimp: tests of hypotheses based on larval moulting and distribution. Freshwater Biology54: 1924-1932.

ShokitaS.1973. Abbreviated larval development of the fresh-water prawn, Macrobrachium shokita Fujino et Baba (Decapoda, Palaemonidae), from Iriomote island of the Ryukyus. Annotationes Zoologicae Japonenses46: 111-126.

ShokitaS.1979. The distribution and speciation of the inland water shrimps and prawns from the Ryukyu Islands-II. Bulletin of the College of Science University of the Ryukyus28: 193-278. [In Japanese with English abstract.]

ShokitaS.1985. Larval development of the palaemonid prawn, Macrobrachium grandimanus (Randall), reared in the laboratory, with special reference to larval dispersal. Zoological Science2: 785-803.

ShortJ. W.MarquetG.1998. New records of freshwater Palaemonidae (Crustacea, Decapoda) from New Caledonia. Zoosystema20: 401-410.

SouksavatO.LasasimaO.SouriyatmatP.WarrenT. J.2000. An investigation into the life-cycle biology and potential use in aquaculture of selected indigenous freshwater prawns in northern Mekong tributaries of the Lao P.D.R. LARReC Technical Report 3: 1-12.

TsurutaT.KoikeR.TakeshimaH.NatsumedaT.IguchiK.2010. Predation by Zacco platypus, Tribolodon hakonensis and Gymnogobius petschiliensis on ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis altivelis) larvae under light and dark experimental conditions. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology57: 51-55. [In Japanese with English abstract.]

WongJ. T. Y.1994. Laval development of the Palaemonid prawn Macrobrachium lanchesteri (De Man) reared in the laboratory (Decapoda, Caridea). Crustaceana67: 296-315.

WoworD.MuthuV.MeierR.BalkeM.CaiY.NgP. K. L.2009. Evolution of life history traits in Asian freshwater prawns of the genus Macrobrachium (Crustacea: Decapoda: Palaemonidae) based on multilocus molecular phylogenetic analysis. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution52: 340-350.


  • View in gallery

    View of the Bokengsakang Stream (cave stream) in the village of Na-Pho, Luang Prabang Province, Laos, one of the sampling sites. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

  • View in gallery

    Map of the study site in the village of Na-Pho, Luang Prabang Province, Laos. Solid black circles and dotted lines represent sampling points and cave streams, respectively.

  • View in gallery

    Drifting larvae of the shrimp Macrobrachium yui (Holthuis, 1950) in the Bokengsakang Stream (cave stream). a, Zoea larvae with free-swimming just after hatching, atypical of drifting larvae; b, postlarvae settling to the bottom, typical of the drifting larvae. This figure is published in colour in the online edition of this journal, which can be accessed via

  • View in gallery

    Size frequency distributions in male, female and juvenile Macrobrachium yui (Holthuis, 1950) from: a, the Xuang River; b, the Pho Stream; and c, the Bokengsakang Stream; all from June 2007 to May 2008. Solid bars show male shrimp, grey bars show female shrimp, and open bars show juvenile shrimp. M, male; F, female; J, juvenile.

  • View in gallery

    Monthly change of the gonadosomatic index (GSI) of Macrobrachium yui (Holthuis, 1950). Solid circles show male shrimp and open circles show female shrimp. Error bars represent 95% confidence intervals.

  • View in gallery

    Monthly change in the number of drifting larvae of Macrobrachium yui (Holthuis, 1950) at the sampling points of the Bokengsakang Stream, Pho Stream and Xuang River. Closed circles indicate the number of drifting larvae in the Bokengsakang Stream, open triangles in the Pho Stream, and open squares in the Xuang River. The larval shrimp were not found in the Pho Stream and Xuang River.

  • View in gallery

    Diel drifting pattern of the larvae of Macrobrachium yui (Holthuis, 1950) at the sampling point in the Bokengsakang Stream. The larval shrimp were not found in the Pho Stream and Xuang River.


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 13 13 7
Full Text Views 71 71 49
PDF Downloads 3 3 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0