Effect of replacing dietary fish meal with silkworm (Bombyx mori L) caterpillar meal on growth and non-specific immunity of sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka)



The effect of dietary substitution of silkworm (Bombyx mori L) meal (SM) for fishmeal (FM) on the growth performance and non-specific immunity of sea cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus) (initial weight: 12.8 ± 0.16 g) was determined. Four isonitrogenous and isocaloric diets were formulated: Diet 1, which served as the control diet, contained 5% FM; Diet 2 contained 3.75% FM and 1.25% SM; Diet 3 contained 2.5% FM and 2.5% SM; and Diet 4 contained 5% SM. Other ingredients in each of the four diets were kept in the same proportion. After 8 weeks of feeding, the results showed that sea cucumbers fed Diet 2 had 18.7% increases in weight over those fed the control diet, but no significant difference was observed. No obvious difference in body wall composition was detected among the sea cucumbers fed the four different diets. Immunity analysis indicated that phagocytosis and serum alkaline phosphatase activity were not significantly (P > 0.05) affected when FM was partially or completely replaced with SM. Serum lysozyme activity of sea cucumbers fed Diet 4 showed a significant (P < 0.05) growth increase compared with those fed control diet. The results revealed that SM could be an effective substitute for FM in sea cucumber diet.