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TitleAspects of the feeding biology of the copepod Pseudodiaptomus hessei (Copepoda: Calanoida) under culture conditions
AuthorMzozo, Ziyanda
SubjectMicrobial ecology
SubjectFishes -- Feeding and feeds
Format72 leaves
AbstractThis study aimed to investigate the feeding behaviour of the calanoid copepod, Pseudodiaptomus hessei, particularly whether it prefers to feed on a planktonic or benthic food source. The effect of different microalgae species on the feeding preference, ingestion, and gut evacuation rate were investigated. Two microalgae species (Isochrysis galbana and Tetraselmis suecica) were used, to test gut fullness and gut evacuation of P. hessei. The copepods were starved for 6 h and allowed to feed on monalgae diets, I .galbana and T. suecica, and a 1:1 binary diet mixture of T. suecica and I. galbana. The gut fullness and gut evacuation rates were determined by observing under the dissecting microscope and gut content percentage was recorded (as 0, 25, 50, 75 or 100 percent) along with copepod sex. Copepods that feed on T. suecica fill their gut after 30 min, while those that feed on I. galbana do so after 40 min. There was a significant difference (p= 0.02) between sexes with males filling their gut faster than females. However, copepods that fed on I. galbana evacuated their gut content completely after 30 min, while those fed on T suecica evacuated theirs after 40 min. There was no difference between males and females for gut evacuation. Even though there was high gut fullness rate when P. hessei was feeding on T. suecica, I. galbana is recommended as the best mono-algae diet to culture P. hessei. The feeding behaviour of P. hessei was investigated, as to whether it prefers to feed on a planktonic or benthic food source. Copepods were starved for 3 h and then allowed to feed on two microalgae species (I. galbana and T. suecica), one presented as a benthic and other as planktonic. Controls included swapping the modes of presentation for each algae species. Ingested microalgae species were quantified using real-time PCR, with threshold cycles interpreted as relative abundance ratio (planktonic microalgae divided by benthic microalgae species). Pseudodiaptomus hessei preferred to feed on planktonic food sources initially as there was a difference between planktonic and benthic ingested food (p=0.026). Copepods shifted from planktonic to benthic food sources after 80 min of feeding planktonically. Planktonic food sources were the preferred choice for P. hessei regardless of microalgae species offered. The results from this study also confirm that P. hessei feed on a benthic food source during the day under culture conditions. This information can be used as baseline information for aquaculturists to rear the species as live feed for marine fish larvae.
PublisherUniversity of Fort Hare
PublisherFaculty of Science & Agriculture