• aquaculture;
  • juvenile;
  • megalopa;
  • Metanephrops japonicus;
  • nephropid lobster;
  • prezoea;
  • rearing

ABSTRACT:  Larvae of the Japanese nephropid lobster Metanephrops japonicus hatched in the laboratory were reared at 15°C, and the development and feeding were observed. All larvae hatched at the ‘prezoea stage’ with no natatory setae on the exopodite of the pereiopods. Without feeding, 50% of prezoea molted into the megalopa stage, having small buds as the exopodite, within 1 h and all molted within 22 h. The megalopa fed with Artemia nauplii, shrimp meat and pelleted food molted into the first juvenile stage with no exopodite after approximately 17 days. The average carapace lengths of prezoea, megalopa and the first juvenile stage were 3.2, 3.6 and 4.4 mm, respectively. The survival rate from hatching to the first juvenile stage was high (90–100%). This lobster may be the only known nephropid species with no zoeal stage.