, Volume 152, Issue 2, pp 371-381
Date: 18 Apr 2007

Energy balance of Octopus maya fed crab or an artificial diet

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Abstract

The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of a natural prey (the crab Callinectes sp.) and an artificial diet (pellet with squid paste and offered as a paste) on the survival and assimilation efficiency of subadult octopuses with 486 g of initial live weight. In order to reach this goal, the effects of the type of diet on energetic balance were assessed by recording ingestion rate (C), respiratory rate (R = R routine, R rout + R apparent heat increment, R AHI), ammonia production rate (U = U routine, U rout + U post-prandial, U PP) and biomass production (P) of Octopus maya during its growing process. Energy lost from faeces (H) was calculated as H=C−(U+R+P) and assimilated energy (As) as R + P. Octopuses fed an artificial diet had almost five times higher ingestion rate compared to that observed in octopuses fed crab. However, growth rate and production (P) were high in octopuses fed crab in comparison to octopuses fed artificial diet. An inverse relation between faeces (H) and type of food was observed, indicating that animals lost 77% of the ingested energy when fed artificial diet and only 5% when fed crab. A higher assimilation and production efficiency were obtained in octopuses fed crab (P/As: 61%) than in animals fed the artificial diet (P/As: −5%). The routine O : N ratio for animals in fasting was 9.1 and 2.3 for octopuses being fed crabs and the artificial diet, respectively. The post-alimentary O : N ratio was 3.6 and 2.2 for animals fed crabs and the artificial diet, respectively. This indicates that animals fed on both diets rely almost exclusively on protein. Based on energy balance data, a value of 472 kJ week−1 kg−1 of live octopus was estimated as the energy needed to obtain a growth rate near 9 g day−1 (2.8% BW day−1) for O. maya subadults. The total crab biomass needed to obtain 1 kg of fed O. maya biomass was calculated. A comparison with other different energy balance measurements made in other octopus species indicates that O. maya and Enteroctopus megalocyathus (Pérez et al. 2006) tend to be more efficient by channelling more ingested energy to biomass production (P = 69.5% of C) than O. vulgaris (P = 23% of C; Petza et al. 2006) or Paraledone charcoti (P = 4% of C; Daly and Peck 2000).

Communicated by P.W. Sammarco.