, Volume 9, Issue 5, pp 379-392

First multi-generation culture of the tropical cuttlefish Sepia pharaonis Ehrenberg, 1831

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Abstract

Sepiapharaonis, the pharaoh cuttlefish was cultured through multiplegenerations in the laboratory (5 consecutive generations) using closed,recirculating water filtration systems. The eggs of the original parentalgeneration (GP) were spawned by a wild caught Gulf of Thailandfemale in alocal fisheries laboratory, then packed and shipped air cargo to Texas wherehatching occurred. The culture temperature ranged 25°–28°C, except for one generation that was chilled intentionallyto21 °C and then warmed to 25 °C after 9.6months. Spawning occurred as early as day 161. Spawning output was high in allgenerations except the group that was cultured at 21 °C. Eggfertility was low in captivity (< 20%), but hatchling survival was high(>70%). The average egg incubation time was 13.6 d at 25–28°C. The largest spawn resulted in 600 viable hatchlings andthesmallest resulted in 11 hatchlings. The cuttlefish ate a wide variety ofestuarine crustaceans and fishes as well as frozen shrimp. There were noapparent disease problems since survival from hatching to maturity was over70%.The average life span for cuttlefish cultured at 25–28°Cwas 8.9 months and 12.3 months at 21 °C. Size at hatching wasmeasured for fourth generation (G4) hatchlings; the mean weight athatching was 0.103 g and the mean mantle length was 6.4mm. The largest cuttlefish cultured was a male 300 mmML and 3,045 g; the oldest cuttlefish lived 340 d.This cuttlefish species presents an excellent choice for commercial mariculturebecause of its rapid growth, short life span, tolerance to crowding andhandling, resistance to disease and feeding habits.