Shrimp larva

Shrimp larva

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Caption: Shrimp larva. Close-up of the larva of a salt-water shrimp, showing its eyes (black dots) and developing abdomen (orange). Many crustaceans pass through several larval stages. Females lay 50000 to 1 million eggs, which hatch after some 24 hours into tiny nauplii. These nauplii then undergo a metamorphosis into zoeae. Zoeae feed in the wild on algae and after a few days metamorphose again into myses. After another three to four days they metamorphose a final time into postlarvae, having all the characteristics of adults. The whole process takes about 12 days from hatching. Photographed off the coast of Reunion Island, Indian Ocean.

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