||Pre-mature hatching of fertilized eggs of cuttlefishes and squids, which are Taiwan’s major fishing species, exists in the late embryonic development before yolk sacs are fully absorbed. It is so far unknown whether there is any difference in survival rate between pre-maturely developed juveniles and the fully developed ones. Hence, by laboratory incubation, this study aimed to discuss the relationship between the yolk size in the embryonic development process and embryo, as well as the difference in survival rate of juveniles developed at different developmental stages. The impact of the incubation time on the survival rate is explored in case of changing physical and chemical environmental factors (temperature, salinity, ammonia concentration, vibration etc.)|
The embryonic development of Sepia pharaonis can be divided into 40 stages according to the external shape and quality of the embryo. The embryo mantle length and the yolk diameter vary by time, while the increasing rate of the mantle length does not(F = 1.88, p = 0.06), increasing or decreasing in a linear relationship respectively. However, under the same environmental conditions, the consumption rate and the mantle size may vary in different batches(yolk diameter: F = 8.77, p < 0.01. mantle length: F = 92.14, p < 0.01).
There is no difference in the surviving time of juveniles artificially and naturally incubated at the same developmental stage, and the surviving time will be longer if the artificially incubated juveniles are at later embryonic developmental stages(F = 34.66，p < 0.01). With regard to the feeding ratio of juveniles pre-maturely hatched at different stages, the feeding ratio of the juveniles incubated after the 36th stage will increase with the developmental stages(F = 93.10，p < 0.01).
In this study, the temperature limit of the embryonic development of Sepia pharaonis should never be lower than 10℃ or higher than 35℃, and the most suitable temperate range is between 17-28℃. In case of sudden change in temperature, temperature increase can more effectively affect the pre-mature hatching than temperature decrease. In case of either the 36th or 39th stage embryos, if the temperature rises or drops by more than 10 degrees, pre-mature hatching can exist in some of the embryos. Some embryos may die if salinity is lowered suddenly below 20 psu. Meanwhile, pre-mature hatching may occur within one hour if it is suddenly lowered below 10 psu, and the unhatched embryos may die. When increasing the ammonia concentration suddenly to 1 and 5 ppm, the embryo incubation time may be lengthened compared with the group without the addition: some embryos may die if it is increased to 5 ppm. Meanwhile, most embryos are hatched pre-maturely within 17 minutes when it is increased to 1000 ppm, while those unhatched ones may die. In case of various environmental stimuli of the experiments, a higher percentage of embryos at the 39th stage got away from the hostile environment by pre-mature hatching, while a higher percentage of embryos at 36th stage continued the development until natural incubation or died. The vibration experiment is to produce vibration by a vertical vibration instrument. In case of 30-minute vibration at frequency of 350 times/minute and maximum amplitude at 2 cm, there is no effect on incubation time and mode of embryos at both stages. This factor is still open and subject to further discussion.