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Biological Characterization of the New Invasive Brine Shrimp Artemia franciscana in Tunisia: Sabkhet Halk El-Menzel

Authors: Hachem Ben Naceur, Amel Ben Rejeb Jenhani, Mohamed Salah Romdhane


Endemic Artemia franciscana populations can be found throughout the American continent and also as an introduced specie in several country all over the world, such as in the Mediterranean region where Artemia franciscana was identified as an invasive specie replacing native Artemia parthenogenetica and Artemia salina. In the present study, the characterization of the new invasive Artemia franciscana reported from Sabkhet Halk El-Menzel (Tunisia) was done based on the cysts biometry, nauplii instar-I length, Adult sexual dimorphism and fatty acid profile. The mean value of the diameter of non-decapsulated and decapsulated cysts, chorion thickness and naupliar length is 235.8, 226.3, 4.75 and 426.8 μm, respectively. Sexual dimorphism for adults specimen showed that maximal distance between compound eyes, diameter for compound eyes, length of first antenna and the abdomen length compared to the total body length ratio, are the most important variables for males and females discrimination with a total contribution of 62.39 %. The analysis of fatty acid methyl esters profile of decapsulated cysts resulted in low levels of linolenic acid (LLA, C18:3n-3) and high levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5n-3) with 3.11 and 11.10 %, respectively. Low quantity of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) was also observed with 0.17 mg.g-1 dry weight.

Keywords: Invasive Artemia franciscana, biometry, sexualdimorphism, fatty acid, Tunisia.

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