I spent about an hour trying to get this last megalopa to take a shell. He stubbornly refused to shove his butt anywhere productive. Perhaps tomorrow. This one has a really dark body. Much darker than the others (who tended more toward orange). It’s mostly the gut track, so I’m not really sure what he’s eating in there, but whatever it is, it’s making his tummy dark.
He also has slightly misshapen (or off-kilter) legs. This seems to happen to the megalopa probably about 50% of the time. That stage six molt is a doozy and sometimes they get stuck or have issues getting those legs out correctly. I think they are still able to function and fix it with a molt but I haven’t been able to track an individual to be sure. Since this guy is the last megalopa of his batch, if he makes it to land and looks normal, I’ll know they can.
I’m looking forward to getting him out of the transition tank so I can clean it in preparation for the next batch which are coming along nicely. Some of the zoeae are quite large. It’s early yet, but I think I may see megalopa before Day 20 this time around. They started molting a day earlier than the first batch and haven’t stopped since. It’s Day 17 for the older ones and 14 for the younger. Also, if it turns out the second batch was from an Ecuadorian, they’ll have one fewer stage, so that will be another clue to watch for.