Influence of swimming behavior of copepod nauplii on feeding of larval turbot (Acopthalmus maximus)

Eleonora Bruno, Jacob Kring Højgaard, Benni Winding Hansen, Peter Munk, Josianne Gatt Støttrup

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Feeding in larval fish is influenced by a range of factors and among these are the morphological and behavioral characteristics of their prey. We investigated the influence of the swimming behavior of two species of calanoid copepods, Acartia tonsa and Temora longicornis, on larval turbot feeding. The nauplii of these species represent two contrasting swimming behaviors: A. tonsa is a jump-sink type swimmer, while T. longicornis is a cruise swimming type. Three replicates of ten larvae aged 7 and 9 days post hatch (DPH) were observed feeding on one of the two copepod species using a 2-dimensional video setup. The results showed that the duration of aiming postures by turbot larvae was 2.3 times higher when turbot larvae approached T. longicornis as compared to A. tonsa nauplii, indicating that larvae can more easily position themselves, preparing for attack, when the prey is of the jump-sink type. The attack speed of turbot larvae feeding on A. tonsa nauplii decreased slightly from DPH 7 to DPH 9, whereas it increased when attacking T. longicornis nauplii. Capture success rate by turbot larvae feeding on A. tonsa was 58% and slightly higher, but not significantly different to capture success rate when feeding on T. longicornis (54%). We conclude that the differences between behavior and other characteristics of these prey species have only minor effect on larval fish feeding, suggesting that copepods species for live feed should be selected according to their ease to culture more than to their species-specific characteristics.
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TidsskriftAquaculture International
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)225-236
Antal sider17
StatusUdgivet - 2018


  • Acartia tonsa
  • Copepod nauplii
  • Feeding behavior
  • Live feed
  • Semi-intensive systems
  • Temora longicornis

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