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Investigation of Copepods as a Live Feed for Shrimp Larviculture

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Title:Investigation of Copepods as a Live Feed for Shrimp Larviculture
Authors:Dahl, Danita
Contributors:Yang, Jinzeng (advisor)
Animal Sciences (department)
Keywords:Animal sciences
Euterpina acutifrons
Litopenaeus vannamei
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Date Issued:Dec 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Copepods are abundant with over 11,500 species identified in pelagic, benthic and symbiotic marine environments. Copepods are the natural prey for most larval fishes, crustaceans and mollusks. When utilized in aquaculture systems as a live feed, copepods have increased survivability and growth rates. Nauplii of many copepod species are smaller than those of brine shrimp (artemia) currently used in many aquaculture systems on the Hawai’ian islands. The small size of copepod nauplii could be vital for the first feeding of larval species with small mouth gape sizes. Copepods also stimulate strong feeding responses in many larvae due to their distinctive, jerky swimming patterns. While the Hawai’i shrimp industry has increased over the decades, growing into the main supplier for specific pathogen-free (SPF) shrimp worldwide, the ingestion of copepods by shrimp larvae remains elusive. Capture success rates and preference of the larvae is important when establishing a live feed strategy. The primary aim of this thesis was to evaluate these variables in larval shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei.
The tropical harpacticoid Euterpina acutifrons was chosen for the study because they are found in local waters and the ability to be cultured in mass quantities. Trials conducted with the Euterpina species and the locally produced shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei showed targeting of progressively larger copepod stages as the shrimp aged. The L. vannamei species was shown to be successful predators of all E. acutifrons life stages with vigorous ingestion of all developmental stages by 15 days post-hatch.
The first chapter of this thesis reviews the current knowledge related to the aspects of copepods as larval feeds. The subsequent experimental chapters can be grouped into three parts. The first part (Chapter 3) provides the methods for phytoplankton culture used in the study. The second part (Chapter 4) investigates the optimal algal diets of the copepod E. acutifrons and the cultivation of phytoplankton from local sources. The third part (Chapter 5) evaluates the capture success and preference of L. vannamei on the feeding of three copepod developmental stages of local E. acutifrons.
Utilizing observational study, the findings of this thesis confirms that E. acutifrons is a high potential species for shrimp larviculture due to the continued capture success and preferences by L. vannamei. The E. acutifrons also had high culture productivity, adding to its advantages as a live feed. The thesis concludes with a general discussion and conclusions chapter (Chapter 5), discussing the implications of the findings within a wider context of Hawai’ian shrimp aquaculture.
Key words: Litopenaeus vannamei, Euterpina acutifrons, live feed, shrimp, copepod, larviculture
Description:M.S. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
Pages/Duration:83 pages
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: M.S. - Animal Sciences

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