Chemical nature of feeding stimulants for the juvenile Dover sole, Solea solea (L.)



Juvenile Dover sole, Solea solea, were weaned from a live food, Artemia salina nauplii, on to a casein-based particulate diet flavoured with flesh of the mussel, Mytilus edulis. These fish would not accept an unflavoured casein-based diet but readily ate the diet flavoured with either mussel flesh or a mixture of pure chemicals whose composition was based on an analysis of the low-molecular weight fraction of mussel flesh. The rate of growth and survival over a seventy-seven day period was essentially the same on either of the flavoured diets. The active constituent in the mixture of pure chemicals was identified as glycine betaine for fish of wet weight exceeding 50g while glycine betaine with certain L-amino-acids was required for fish of about 2.5 g wet weight. These results are discussed in relation to the known feeding behaviour and food preferences of the wild Dover sole.