Groups of embryonic grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, were exposed to 0.1 and 0.3 mg/l cadmium at 30 ppt salinity and 25C for the last 1, 4, or 8 days prior to hatching. Other groups of embryos were cultured in uncontaminated seawater. Prehatch exposure to cadmium was found to have no additive effect on the sensitivity of the larvae to cadmium exposure and salinity stress for 14 days after hatching. Only one group of larvae, exposed to 0.1 mg/l cadmium for 4 days before hatching and transferred to 10 ppt salinity water containing 0.1 mg/l cadmium after hatching, showed a significant decrease in survival, compared to control survival. No significant decreases in survival were observed for any larvae transferred to 15 and 30 ppt salinity at a pre- and posthatch cadmium concentration of 0.1 mg/l. At a pre- and posthatch cadmium concentration of 0.3 mg/l, significant decreases in survival were observed for all of the larvae transferred to 10 and 15 ppt salinity after hatching. Significant decreases in survival were observed for only 2 of the groups exposed before hatching and transferred to 30 ppt salinity and 0.3 mg/l cadmium after hatching.