The embryonic development of Portunus pelagicus
was studied in under laboratory conditions at a water temperature of 25-26 ℃, salinity of 30, and pH of 7.8-8.4. The embryogenesis of Portunus pelagicus
was divided into six stages: cleavage, blastula, gastrula, nauplius, metanauplius, and protozoea. Embryogenesis lasted about 300 h post spawning. Eggs began superficial cleavage about 28 h after spawning when the nucleus appeared at the surface of the egg till the egg divided into 16 cells. The blastula stage was observed about 40 h post spawning and gastrula stage appeared when the presumptive endoderm and other cells near them invaginated. The fourth-stage of embryogenesis, nauplius, was characterized by three pairs of appendages appearing about 90 h post spawning, while metanauplius, the fifth-stage of embryogenesis, was characterized by five pairs of appendages, which appeared about 110 h post spawning. The sixth stage of embryogenesis was protozoea, which was characterized by seven pairs of appendages appearing about 140 h post spawning. The compound eye, heart and pigment cells were also found in the protozoea stage. After the natatory seta formed on the top of maxilliped, the protozoea developed into the zoea at the time of hatching (about 300 h post spawning).