Reproduction, Laboratory Culture, and Growth of Strombus Gigas, S. Costatus and S. Pugilus in Los Roques, Venezuela
Egg masses of Strombus gigas, S. costatus, and S. pugilus were gathered from depths of 3 to 18 m in the western part of the Los Roques Archipelago, Venezuela. S. gigas spawns from early July through mid-November. S. costatus begins spawning in November, and continues until May. S. pugilus egg masses were first discovered on March 29. Eggs were hatched in the laboratory and veligers fed enriched natural cultures of phytoplankton. Juveniles were fed various species of algae which grew naturally on the sides of the tanks, plus algae growing on rocks, which were introduced into the tanks. Preliminary growth data show S. gigas reaching a length of 31.7 mm in 171 days after hatching. After 175 days, S. costatus reached 42.7 mm. S. pugilus attained a mean length of 20.9 mm after 121 days. Mariculture potential and some aspects of the ecology of the three species, especially the juveniles, are discussed.