Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture
Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture

Effects of acute salinity stress on the survival and haemolymph biochemistry of juvenile tropical rock lobster, (Panulirus ornatus), at different moult stages


The tropical rock lobster, (Panulirus ornatus), is emerging as an important species for onshore aquaculture development, with commercial grow out of lobsters from the juvenile to harvest phase likely to be conducted in outdoor raceways or pond culture systems in tropical regions of Australia. In these areas, climate has a large impact on the prevailing environmental conditions, including torrential rain and extended periods of heat waves, which can rapidly reduce or increase pond salinity for hours to weeks. The impacts of moulting on the salinity tolerance of (P. ornatus) survival and physiology are unknown. This study investigated the survival (LC50) and haemolymph biochemistry of (P. ornatus) juveniles when acutely exposed for 48 h to different salinities (10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 34, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60 ppt) at three stages of the moult cycle (post-, inter- and pre-moult). Moult stage significantly impacted the survival of lobsters at low salinity (<34 ppt), which ranged from LC5048 = 12.5 ppt for post-moult lobster to LC5048 = 20.0 for pre-moult. There was no significant effect of moult stage on high salinity (>34 ppt) tolerance of lobsters which ranged from LC5048 = 50.5–54.5 ppt. Haemolymph osmolarity showed inter-moult lobsters to be weak hyper-regulators, with post- and pre-moult being hyper-osmoconfromers. Moult-stage significantly affected haemolymph oxyhaemocyanin and protein concentration, with pre-moults having the highest values and post-moult the lowest, with no impact of salinity treatments. At 50, and 55 ppt, oxyhaemocyanin was significantly elevated above total protein concentration compared to 34 ppt with no effect of the moult stage. While at 55 ppt, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity was significantly lower compared to 25, 40, 45, and 50 ppt with no effect of moult stage. Our results suggest a salinity tolerance range between 20 and 40 ppt, beyond this, lobsters experience oxidative stress due to the breakdown of osmoregulation. This study provides an improved understanding of the survival and physiological impacts of acute salinity change on (P. ornatus) that is essential for optimising productivity protocols for the onshore aquaculture of the species.


Research Hub Investigator(s)
Publication Year
Spencer, E.L., Fitzgibbon, Q.P., Day, R.D., Trotter, A.J. and Smith, G.G., 2023. Effects of acute salinity stress on the survival and haemolymph biochemistry of juvenile tropical rock lobster, (Panulirus ornatus), at different moult stages. Aquaculture, 573, p.739597, ISSN 0044-8486
Link to this Publication
Back to our Publication List
Sustainable Onshore Lobster AquacultureSustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture
The ARC Research Hub for Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture is funded by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council Industrial Transformation Research Program. 

For more information about the Research Hub please contact us at or phone +61 3 6226 8268.
Australian Research CouncilInstitute of Marine and Antarctic StudiesUniversity of TasmaniaOrnatasUniversity of Sunshine CoastPFG GroupUniversity of New Zealand
Copyright 2024 ARC Research Hub for Sustainable Onshore Lobster Aquaculture.
Top linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram