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Comparison of different frozen natural foods on survival and growth of juvenile Chinese horseshoe crab Tachypleus tridentatus (Leach, 1819): implications on laboratory culture


Correspondence: P K S Shin, Department of Biology and Chemistry, City University of Hong Kong, Kowloon, Hong Kong. E-mail:


The Chinese horseshoe crab Tachypleus tridentatus (Leach, 1819) is facing a dramatic population decline in Asia. Evaluating their survival and growth under laboratory conditions is essential to optimize their indoor culture system, particularly for future re-stocking trials in the wild. In this study, three types of frozen natural foods (brine shrimp Artemia salina, opossum shrimp Mysis relicta and chironomus larva Chironomous plumosus) were offered to juvenile Chinese horseshoe crabs T. tridentatus for 100 days in the laboratory. While feed efficiency ratio in C. plumosus treatment was significantly higher than that in A. salina and M. relicta treatments, survival rate, final body weight, thermal-unit growth coefficient and feeding rate of T. tridentatus fed with A. salina were significantly higher than those in other diet treatments. Results showed that A. salina is a more suitable food diet than M. relicta and C. plumosus for juvenile T. tridentatus under laboratory culture conditions.