Lipid and fatty acid composition of Antarctic shrimp eggs (Decapoda:Caridea)M. Graeve1, and I. S. Wehrtmann2(1)Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meeresforschung, Am Handelshafen 12, 27570 Bremerhaven, Germany(2)Universidad de Costa Rica, Escuela de Biología, 2060 San Pedro-San José, Costa RicaAbstract. Eggs of the decapod shrimps, Chorismus antarcticus, Nematocarcinus lanceopes and Notocrangon antarcticus were taken to analysetheir morphometric, lipid and fatty acid composition. Almost all females carried undifferentiated eggs (stage I). The average number of recentlyextruded eggs was lowest in C. antarcticus with 163 eggs, and highest in Nematocarcinus lanceopes with 1,220 eggs, while Notocrangonantarcticus produced on average 350 eggs. The lipid content (% of dry mass) of the eggs was 18.8% for C. antarcticus, 14.3% for Notocrangonantarcticus and 18.1% for Nematocarcinus lanceopes. Dominant lipid classes in eggs of all species were phospholipids and triacylglycerols. Thestorage lipid, triacylglycerol, was slightly elevated in the eggs of Nematocarcinus lanceopes (mean of 52.7%) compared to the other two species.The fatty acid compositions of the decapod eggs were similar in the three species. Dominant fatty acids were 20:5(n-3), 18:1(n-9), 16:1(n-7), 16:0and 18:1(n-7), comprising 75.8-78.4% of total fatty acids. Among the species, the eggs of C. antarcticus had the highest proportions ofpolyunsaturated fatty acids (39.6%), dominated by 20:5(n-3), and the lowest percentage of monounsaturates (41.8%). The eggs ofNematocarcinus lanceopes and Notocrangon antarcticus contained almost the same proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (28.0% and28.4%, respectively), whereas Nematocarcinus lanceopes had the highest amount of monounsaturates due to the dominance of 18:1(n-9). Basedon our findings, we assume that eggs produced by polar decapod crustaceans do not contain substantially more lipids than related species fromtemperate or tropical regions. However, additional studies are necessary to substantiate any general conclusion about the relationship of egg lipidcontent and composition with climatic zones.