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THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF YABBY

In this third article of the series on Yabbyponics, we look into the early development of Yabby. From the newly hatched larvae to its adult form.

Currently, at My Rivendell Aquaponics Farm we do have stocked inside our tanks individuals that are either in their early stages and 1-year-old.

In fact, the first Yabby larvae produced in this early Summer reached their third larval stage. That is to say, they resembles adults in terms of body features and they start to swim away from the mother. Nevertheless, they keep seeking refuge under her belly at the minimum warning signal.

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early development of Yabby
Yabby at third larval stage
early development of Yabby
Yabby at the third larval stage

At this stage, they autonomously feed on the food scraps missed by the mother. Therefore, they don’t require any special or additional food.

Then, in around a week, they’ll moult into their juvenile form.
Then they’ll eat commercial and natural food. At this regard it is possible to provide dried sinking feeds for catfish and carps too.

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THE ROLE OF MOULTING IN THE EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF YABBY

As a matter of fact, from the egg hatching, the larvae moult for three times. Then, reached the juvenile stage, they’ll moult every 10 days until they become young adults.

early development of yabby

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early development of Yabby
Developmental stages in Cherax Destructor – The Yabby, Marron and Red Claw Production and Marketing, John R. Merrick and C. Nick Lambert

At this point the ecdysis occurs only 4 or 5 times per year. In other words, moulting occurs with decreasing frequency as the Yabby gets older. Because they stop to increase so much in size.

Actually the maximum weight a male Yabby can get is 300 gr. While the females are smaller because of the multiple broods (3 or more) carried out throughout the year (particularly at 20 – 25°C [68-77°F] water temperature). Indeed, they cease to feed until after the release of the juveniles.

When the time comes, it’s advisable to keep the juveniles with the mother a further week. In such a way to allow her to safely moult, without the risk of any attack from other adults. Subsequently, when her shell hardens again, you must separate her from the juveniles.

early development of yabby
Yabby at the third larval stage

STOCKING DENSITY PER JUVENILE STAGE

At the beginning, their feeding is limited. So that you can rear them at high densities (hundreds per square meter). But, within 2 weeks, they become very active feeders, showing an increased aggressive behavior. Which results in an high mortality rate. Therefore, at this stage it’s crucial either to frequently provide small amounts of food for them throughout the day.

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So much as to thin the stock. While providing for them aquatic plants where they can hide under. As well as artificial shelters suitable for their current size. That is to say enough big just to host one or two juveniles. For us, the best choice is the PVC rigid pipe. Because it sinks on the bottom and comes in a wide range of sizes.

Especially since every time they moult, such percentage of the stocked population is in a vulnerable state. In other words, they run the risk of being attacked by their tank mates. Moreover, the high demand for food leads to an increased cannibalism that results in substantial losses.

NEXT TIME…

Nevertheless, we’ll go even further into the farming measures to undertake for getting the highest production of juveniles in the next articles.

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