The effects of temperature, photoperiod, oxygen, food supply, crowding, and autotomy of limbs have been measured under controlled conditions in aquaria. Growth rate increased with temperature to a maximum 26� C above which both growth rate and survival declined. Varying the length of photoperiod did not affect growth rate or survival, except that the growth rate was depressed significantly in continuous darkness. A mild deficiency of oxygen (60-67 % saturation) resulted in a smaller size increment at a moult; depression to 47-55 % saturation caused deaths at ecdysis. Daily feeding was necessary to maintain maximum rate of growth. The fist response to decreased food supply was a reduction in frequency of moulting. More severe shortage of food also depressed growth increment per moult. Feeding rates and conversion ratios have been measured. Frequency of moulting (and hence growth rate) was depressed markedly when juveniles were held in isolation. At a moult replacing two lost limbs, the growth rate was not affected; replacement of four limbs reduced that moult increment. Single loss of up to four limbs did not result in an earlier moult, but repetitive loss of two or more limbs at or immediately after each ecdysis led to precocious moulting. The impact of these and other components of the environment (shelter, salinity, turbidity, competitors and predators) upon juveniles during the 4 years spent on shallow coastal reefs is discussed. Food supply is emerging as the dominant factor determining growth and survival in the wild population.

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