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A detailed study of the life history of the rotifer Brachionus plicatilis was done at 20 °C, 20 ppt salinity, and 90 mg C 1−1 food concentration. Rotifers were grown individually in culture plate wells (150 µl culture volume) and fed Isochrysis galbana Tahiti, Tetraselmis sp., Nannochloris atomus, or a l : 1 mixture (weight) of two of the algae. Observations were made every 2–8 hr and rotifers were sized and transferred to new food daily. A total of 19 different parameters were compared. Rotifers fed Isochrysis averaged 21 offspring per female, a 6.7 day reproductive period, a lifespan of 10.5 days and a mean length of 234 µm. After Isochrysis, the foods giving the highest growth, survival, and reproduction in decreasing order were Isochrysis + Nannochloris, Nannochloris, Isochrysis + Tetraselmis, Tetraselmis + Nannochloris, and Tetraselmis. Although the small volume culture system used in this study seems appropriate for studying life history of B. plicatilis, the results cannot always be directly applied to larger cultures.



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