Juveniles of threadsail filefish, Stephanolepis cirrhifer, can survive and grow by feeding on moon jellyfish Aurelia aurita
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We conducted feeding experiments on threadsail filefish Stephanolepis cirrhifer juveniles for 16 days to evaluate the efficacy of moon jellyfish Aurelia aurita as a prey item. Four treatments, each with 40 individuals, were prepared to compare fish growth performance. The treatments consisted of filefish that were starved (control) (S), fed only jellyfish (J), fed only krill (K), and fed both jellyfish and krill (JK). Fish in the S treatment exhibited a 50% mortality rate and reduced body weight, whereas the J treatment exhibited a zero mortality rate and increased body weight. Fish in the JK treatments showed a significantly faster growth than those in the K treatment. Filefish consumed as much as 24 and 13 times their own body weight in jellyfish per day in the J and JK treatments, respectively. This is the first report showing that growth can be sustained by feeding a marine fish only jellyfish, and indicates the potential of jellyfish as a fish prey in both nature and captivity.
KeywordsAurelia aurita Fatty acids Filefish Growth Jellyfish Monacanthidae Stephanolepis cirrhifer Survival rate
We are grateful to Dr. Michelle Walsh and Dr. Dominique Robert for providing constructive comments on early versions of the manuscript. Comments from the editor and reviewers also improved the quality of the manuscript. This study was financially supported by the STOPJELLY project from the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council.
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