SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

This study examined the fatty acid composition of cobia Rachycentron canadum eggs and yolksac larvae, as well as the ovaries of wild caught females as an initial guide to lipid nutritional requirements. A 2-wk feeding study also was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of four dietary treatments on the growth and survival of cobia larvae. Cobia eggs in the tailbud stage contained 31.4 ± 1.3 μg lipid/egg. After hatching, the amount of lipid decreased significantly (P < 0.05) from 28.3 ± 0.3 to 23.2 ± 0.1 μg lipid/larvae during the yolksac larval stage (days 1 to 3 after hatching). Ovaries from wild caught adults and captive spawned eggs and yolksac larvae contained high levels of PUFAs with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and arachidonic acid (ARA) accounting for approximately 80% of the total suggesting that cobia larvae may have a high dietary requirement for these fatty acids. For the feeding study, larvae were fed: 1) Artemia only; 2) enriched rotifers for 1 d only + microparticulate diet (day 313); 3) enriched rotifers for 3 d (day 3–5) + Artemia (day 3–13); and 4) enriched rotifers for 6 d (day 3–8) + Artemia (day 3–13). Cobia larvae began feeding on rotifers 3 d after hatching and on newly hatched Artemia nauplii by the fifth day following the onset of exogenous feeding (day 7). On day 7, no differences in larval growth were found among larvae fed rotifers for 3 versus 6 d, whereas larvae fed only Artemia or rotifers for I d followed by microparticulate diet were significantly smaller (P < 0.05) and did not survive beyond day 9 and 13, respectively. The results of the feeding study indicate that cobia larvae require rotifers for a minimum of 4 d following the onset of exogenous feeding.