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Effects of feeding live or frozen prey on growth, survival and the life cycle of the cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Abstract

The effects of feeding live or frozen grass shrimp (Palaemonetes varians) to the cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis, were determined in two experiments. During Experiment I, two populations of 30 cuttlefish (aged 90 days old) were fed either live or frozen grass shrimp. Cuttlefish fed live shrimp grew larger, matured earlier, had a shorter life cycle (255 days) than the ones fed frozen shrimp (282 days), and had lower mortality. Females from the group fed frozen shrimp matured a month later but were significantly larger, 130.9 ± 38.5 g, compared to 74.2 ± 16.0 g, laid larger eggs, 0.47 ± 0.11 g, compared to 0.28 ± 0.10 g, and had higher individual fecundity (411 eggs female−1, compared to 150 eggs female−1). Newly born hatchlings from both groups had similar weights. During Experiment II, six replicates of 15 cuttlefish (50 days old) were used, three for each of the two diets tested. The exact same amount of live or frozen shrimp was provided to both populations twice a day. No differences in growth and feeding rates or food conversions were found at the end of the experiment. During the first week, cuttlefish fed frozen shrimp grew larger, and had higher conversion rates, compared to the ones fed live shrimp. Mortality was higher for the group fed live shrimp (36.6%) in Experiment II, mainly occurring during the last week. Mortality for cuttlefish fed frozen shrimp in Experiment II was 2.2%. Results obtained here indicate that freezing the grass shrimp only had a negative effect on the survival of S. officinalis in Experiment I.

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Correspondence to Pedro Domingues.

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Domingues, P., Sykes, A., Sommerfield, A. et al. Effects of feeding live or frozen prey on growth, survival and the life cycle of the cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis (Linnaeus, 1758). Aquaculture International 11, 397–410 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:AQUI.0000004195.92236.3a

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  • Cephalopod
  • Cuttlefish
  • Food conversions
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Life cycle
  • Live shrimp