Marine Biology

, Volume 148, Issue 4, pp 827–832 | Cite as

Experimental evaluation of the energy balance in Octopus vulgaris, fed ad libitum on a high-lipid diet

  • Dimitra Petza
  • Stelios KatsanevakisEmail author
  • George Verriopoulos
Research Article


A complete energy balance equation was estimated for the common octopus Octopus vulgaris at a constant temperature of 20°C, fed ad libitum on anchovy fillet (Engraulis encrasicolus). Energy used for growth and respiration or lost with faeces and excreted ammonia was estimated, along with total energy consumption through food, for six specimens of O. vulgaris (with masses between 114 and 662 g). The energy balance equation was estimated for the specimens at 10-day intervals. During each 10-day interval, food consumed, body mass increase and quantity of faeces voided were measured. The calorific values of octopus flesh, anchovy flesh and faeces were measured by bomb calorimetry. Oxygen consumption and ammonia excretion rates were monitored for each specimen during three 24-h experiments and daily oxygen consumption and ammonia excretion were estimated. It was found that 58% of the energy consumed was used for respiration. The amount of energy invested in somatic and gonadal growth represented 26% of the total energy budget. The energy discarded through faeces was 13% of consumed energy. The estimated assimilation efficiency (AE) values of O. vulgaris feeding on anchovy (80.9–90.7%) were lower than the AE values estimated for other cephalopod species with different diets of lower lipid content such as crabs or mussels. Specific growth rates (SGR) ranged 0.43–0.95 and were similar to those reported for other high-lipid diets (bogue, sardine) and lower than SGR values found for low-lipid, high-protein diets (squid, crab, natural diet). Ammonia excretion peak (6 h after feeding) followed the one of oxygen consumption (1 h after feeding). The values of atomic oxygen-to-nitrogen (O:N) ratio indicated a protein-dominated metabolism for O. vulgaris.


Specific Growth Rate Energy Balance Equation Ammonia Excretion Assimilation Efficiency Specific Dynamic Action 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Research for this paper was partially funded by the Industrial Research Development Program of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Hellenic Ministry of Development, under a contract with Nireus Aquaculture SA, (code 00BE407) and by the Research Committee of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. We thank M. Alexis and J. Negas (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research) for the provision of the bomb calorimeter used in the present study. The experiments for this study fully comply with the current laws of Greece and the EU.


  1. Andrews EB (1988) Excretory systems of mollusks. In: Trueman ER, Clarke MR (eds) The mollusca, vol II. Academic, San Diego, pp 381–448CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boucher-Rodoni R, Mangold K (1994) Ammonia production in cephalopods, physiological and evolutionary aspects. Mar Freshw Behav Physiol 25:53–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brafield AE, Soloman DJ (1972) Oxycalorific coefficients for animals respiring nitrogenous substrates. Comp Biochem Physiol 43A:837–841CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Daly HI, Peck LS (2000) Energy balance and cold adaptation in the octopus Pareledone charcoti. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 245:197–214CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. García BG, Giménez FA (2002) Influence of diet on ongrowing and nutrient utilization in the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris). Aquaculture 211:171–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Guerra A (1981) Spatial distribution pattern of Octopus vulgaris. J Zool 195:133–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Hoeger U, Mommsen TP, O’Dor RK, Webber D (1987) Oxygen uptake and nitrogen excretion in two cephalopods, octopus and squid. Comp Biochem Physiol 47:137–152Google Scholar
  8. Jobling M (1981) The influences of feeding on the metabolic rate of fishes. A short review. J Fish Biol 18:385–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Katsanevakis S (2004) Ecology of Octopus vulgaris. PhD dissertation, National and Kapodistrian University of AthensGoogle Scholar
  10. Katsanevakis S, Verriopoulos G (2005) Seasonal population dynamics of Octopus vulgaris in the eastern Mediterranean. ICES J Mar Sci (in press)Google Scholar
  11. Katsanevakis S, Stefanopoulou S, Miliou H, Moraitou-Apostolopoulou M, Verriopoulos G (2005a) Oxygen consumption and ammonia excretion of Octopus vulgaris (Cephalopoda) in relation to body mass and temperature. Mar Biol 146:725–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Katsanevakis S, Protopapas N, Miliou H, Verriopoulos G (2005b) Effect of temperature on specific dynamic action in the common octopus, Octopus vulgaris (Cephalopoda). Mar Biol 146:733–738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Liddicoat MI, Tibbits S, Butler EI (1975) The determination οf ammonia in seawater. Limnol Oceanogr 20:131–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Maginniss LA, Wells MJ (1969) The oxygen consumption of Octopus cyanea. J Exp Biol 51:607–613Google Scholar
  15. Mangold K (1983) Octopus vulgaris. In: Boyle PR (ed) Cephalopod life cycles, vol I. Species accounts. Academic, New York, pp 335–364Google Scholar
  16. Mangold K (1998) The Octopodinae from the Eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. In: Voss NA, Vecchione M, Toll RB, Sweeney MJ (eds) Systematics and biogeography of Cephalopods, vol II. Smithsonian contributions to zoology 586, pp 457–474Google Scholar
  17. Mayzaud P, Conover RJ (1988) O:N atomic ratio as a tool to describe zooplankton metabolism. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 45:289–302CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Miliou H, Fintikaki M, Kountouris T, Verriopoulos G (2005) Combined effects of temperature and body weight on growth and protein utilization of the common octopus, Octopus vulgaris. Aquaculture 249:245–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mommsen TP, Hochachka PW (1981) Respiratory and enzymatic properties of squid heart mitochondria. Eur J Biochem 120:345–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. O’Dor RK, Mangold K, Boucher-Rodoni R, Wells MJ, Wells J (1984) Nutrient absorption, storage and remobilization in Octopus vulgaris. Mar Behav Physiol 11:239–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. O’Dor RK, Wells MJ (1987) Energy and nutrient flow. In: Boyle PR (ed) Cephalopod life cycles, comparative reviews, vol II. Academic, London, pp 109–133Google Scholar
  22. Radford CA, Marsden ID, Davison W (2004) Temporal variation in the specific dynamic action of juvenile New Zealand rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii. Comp Biochem Physiol A 139:1–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Silva JL, Chamul RS (2000) Composition of marine and freshwater finfish and shellfish species. In: Martin RE, Paine Carter E, Flick GJ, Davis LM (eds) Marine and freshwater products handbook. Technomic Publishing, Lancaster, pp 31–45Google Scholar
  24. Söller K, Warnke K, Saint-Paul U, Blohm D (2000) Sequence divergence of mitochondrial DNA indicates cryptic biodiversity in Octopus vulgaris and supports the taxonomic distinctiveness of Octopus mimus (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae). Mar Biol 136:29–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Valverde JC, Garcia BG (2005) Suitable dissolved oxygen levels for common octopus (Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797) at different weights and temperatures: analysis of respiratory behaviour. Aquaculture 244:303–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Van Heukelem WF (1976) Growth, bioenergetics and life-span of Octopus cyanea and Octopus maya. PhD dissertation, University of HawaiiGoogle Scholar
  27. Vaz-Pires P, Seixas P, Barbosa A (2004) Aquaculture potential of the common octopus (Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797): a review. Aquaculture 238:221–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Villanueva R (1995) Experimental rearing and growth of planktonic Octopus vulgaris from hatching to settlement. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 52:2639–2650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Vonk HJ (1962) Emulgators in the digestive fluids of invertebrates. Arch Int Physiol Biochim 70:67–85PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Wells MJ, Clarke A (1996) Energetics, the cost of living and reproducing for an individual cephalopod. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B 351:1083–1104CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wells MJ, O’Dor RK, Mangold K, Wells J (1983) Feeding and metabolic rate in Octopus vulgaris. Mar Behav Physiol 9:305–317CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitra Petza
    • 1
  • Stelios Katsanevakis
    • 1
    Email author
  • George Verriopoulos
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Zoology-Marine Biology, School of BiologyUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

Personalised recommendations