SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

This study assessed the nutritional value of four species of microalgae for larval sandfish, Holothuria scabra (Echinodermata: Holothuroidea). Two-day-old larvae were fed either a single diatom (Chaetoceros muelleri, Chaetoceros calcitrans), flagellate (Isochrysis aff. galbana (T-ISO), Pavlova salina), or a ternary microalgal diet (TMD) comprised of 40% C. muelleri, 40% T-ISO, and 20% P. salina for 12 d. On Days 4, 6, and 8 length of larvae fed either C. muelleri, C. calcitrans, or the TMD was significantly greater than in T-ISO and P. salina fed larvae as well as the unfed control larvae. T-ISO fed larvae had a significantly greater length compared to unfed larvae on Days 4, 6, and 8; however, larvae fed P. salina had a significantly greater length compared to unfed larvae on Days 6 and 8 only. Survival of larvae fed either C. muelleri or the TMD was significantly better than the flagellate fed and unfed larvae on Days 4, 8, and 12. There was no significant difference between survival of unfed larvae and larvae fed either T-ISO or P. salina during the 12-d larval culture period. On Day 12, larvae fed either a diatom or the TMD developed in excess of 84% competent doliolariae. Larvae fed C. muelleri had a significantly higher percentage competent doliolariae than larvae from all other treatments except the TMD. Neither larvae fed either T-ISO or P. salina nor unfed larvae developed any competent doliolariae. In conclusion, this study showed C. muelleri to be the most effective of the four microalgae tested as a single microalgal diet for larval H. scabra and, as such, C. muelleri will be used as a reference diet in future studies.