To better understand the factors influencing larval dispersal and settlement of the snow crab Chionoecetes opilio in its natural habitats, we tested the effects of salinities ranging from 18 to 38 and 20–38 on the survival and developmental duration of snow crab larvae in the zoeal and megalopal stages, respectively. Survivals to second-stage zoeae and to megalopae were highest at salinities of 20–38 and 26–38, respectively. There were no significant differences in survival among megalopae reared at salinities between 24 and 38, although survival tended to be higher at salinities range 28–36. The mean periods from hatching to the second zoeal and megalopal stages, and from the megalopal to first crab stage, were shortest at salinities of 30, 30, and 32, respectively, and progressively increased at salinities above and below these values.
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Vol. 34 • No. 2