• alternative diets;
  • biochemical composition;
  • gammarids;
  • growth;
  • Octopus maya hatchlings;
  • survival


The effects of feeding two alternative live prey Hyalella azteca (freshwater gammarids) and Hyale media (marine gammarids) to Octopus maya hatchlings were compared with feeding adult Artemia sp., traditionally used during the first weeks of the life cycle. Hatchlings were fed ad libitum these three live preys during the first 15 days, and a paste elaborated with fresh squid and shrimp during the next 15 days when hatchling can be fed prepared diets. Weight (g) and specific growth rates (% day−1) were determined every 15 days. Octopus maya hatchlings fed with marine gammarids grew larger (6.9 ± 0.2% day−1) compared with hatchlings fed Artemia sp. or freshwater gammarids (4.8 ± 0.2% and 5.0 ± 0.3% day−1 respectively). Survival was also higher (92.2 ± 6.8%) for hatchlings fed marine gammarids, than for those fed Artemia sp. (74.5 ± 23.8%) or freshwater gammarids (41.2 ± 21.2%). The content of acylglycerides, cholesterol and proteins in O. maya fed marine gammarids suggested a better nutrient assimilation by the hatchlings. Also, polyunsaturated fatty acids levels (EPA and DHA) were more abundant in marine gammarids, possibly contributing to the higher growth rates observed. This is the first study revealing a successful use of marine gammarids as alternative prey for octopus hatchlings culture.