18 November 2022

Oʻahu ʻOpihi

MBBE grad students hope to rebuild the population

Oʻahu ʻOpihi

Intertidal limpets are a prized delicacy in the Hawaiian islands, but they’re tough to find on Oʻahu. To help rebuild the population, grad students Angelica Valdez and Mitch Marabella in the Dept. of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering are attempting to spawn and rear ʻopihi to adulthood in their lab on campus.

So far, they’ve conducted 20 spawn trials and are partnering with the Waikīkī Aquarium, which provides their lab with barrels of salt water for the ʻopihi. During a spawning trial, the students go through up to 50 gallons of water.

“The dream goal is to get all the way through the life cycle,” says Angelica. “We’ve come pretty close. The 30-day ʻopihi animal was the first where we’ve had records of shell growth. That is the longest we’ve had, it was really incredible that we got it that far.”

Read the full UH News story.

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