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      Effects of Different Weaning Protocols on Survival, Growth and Nutritional Composition of Pharaoh Cuttlefish ( Sepia pharaonis) Juvenile

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          The aim of this study was to determine the optimal weaning protocols for rearing juvenile cuttlefish Sepia pharaonis, as well as to understand the feeding habits of cuttlefish and develop effective aqua-cultural practices. The effects of four experimental weaning protocols ( i.e., food type, cuttlefish size, food ration (bw d −1) and feeding frequency (meals d −1)) on the growth, survival and muscle proximate composition of cuttlefish juvenile were studied in quintuplicate. The weaning period lasted 2 weeks. The results showed that cuttlefish fed with frozen white shrimp ( Exopalaemon carinicauda) displayed a significantly higher survival, growth parameters, ingestion rate, food conversion rate, and muscle protein content when compared with the other prepared frozen foods. The larger individuals revealed better growth performance than smaller individuals, especially in terms of survival and specific growth rate, indicating that larger individuals were more receptive to frozen prey. Furthermore, size grading should be conducted to ensure better growth during weaning. As food rations increased, the survival, growth and muscle protein content of juveniles were promoted, whereas the most appropriate food ration for cuttlefish juvenile was 35% bw d −1. Similarly, higher feeding frequency could stimulate the appetite of animals reared on weaning, and enhance survival, growth, and protein deposition compared to low feeding frequency. These results suggest that the optimal feeding protocols of juvenile weaning is as follows: the ideal prepared food is frozen shrimp, the weight of juveniles should be 4.0 g (32 days old) or more, the food ration should be 35% (bw d −1), and the optimum feeding frequency is 4 meals day −1. This study offers a promising starting point to successfully breed this candidate aquaculture species.

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          Author and article information

          Journal of Ocean University of China
          Science Press and Springer (China )
          15 November 2020
          01 December 2020
          : 19
          : 6
          : 1421-1429
          1Key Laboratory of Applied Marine Biotechnology, School of Marine Sciences, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
          Author notes
          *Corresponding author: JIANG Xiamin, E-mail: jiangxiamin@
          Copyright © Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2020.

          The copyright to this article, including any graphic elements therein (e.g. illustrations, charts, moving images), is hereby assigned for good and valuable consideration to the editorial office of Journal of Ocean University of China, Science Press and Springer effective if and when the article is accepted for publication and to the extent assignable if assignability is restricted for by applicable law or regulations (e.g. for U.S. government or crown employees).

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