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    • Article

      Diet composition and feeding periodicity of the seahorse Hippocampus barbouri reared in illuminated sea cages 

      LMB Garcia, GV Hilomen-Garcia, FT Celino, TT Gonzales & RJ Maliao - Aquaculture, 2012 - Elsevier
      The zooplankton prey composition and feeding periodicity of juvenile and adult seahorses Hippocampus barbouri reared in illuminated and non-illuminated sea cages were compared. Mean frequency of occurrence (%FO), prey composition (%N), and gut fullness of seahorses were calculated from analyses of gut contents. Compared with juvenile seahorses, adults consumed more variety of prey consisting of copepods, larvae of decapods, polychaetes and fish, and euphausid shrimps. Calanoid copedods were found in the gut of more juvenile (%FO = 47) and adult (%FO = 64) seahorses in illuminated cages but harpacticoid copepods were ingested by more juvenile fish (%FO = 50) in non-illuminated cages. Decapod larvae (%N = 66) in illuminated cages dominated the diet of juvenile seahorses, whereas in non-illuminated cages harpacticoid copepods (%N = 59) did. Calanoid copepods and decapod larvae (%N = 91–97) comprised the bulk of ingested prey among adult seahorses in all experimental cages. The gut of caged seahorses was generally full during daytime but declined in the evening, becoming almost empty at midnight, particularly among juveniles. Cage illumination commencing at midnight increased the number of filled guts at dawn (0400 h) among juvenile and adult seahorses. Unlike adult seahorses over a 24-h period, the overall incidence of filled guts among juveniles was not different between those in non-illuminated and illuminated cages. These results provide an alternative to growing caged H. barbouri on cultured live food, particularly copepods attracted by night illumination.
    • Article

      Feeding selectivity of the seahorse, Hippocampus kuda (Bleeker), juveniles under laboratory conditions 

      FT Celino, GV Hilomen-Garcia & AGC del Norte-Campos - Aquaculture Research, 2012 - Blackwell Publishing Ltd
      This study examined the feeding selectivity of Hippocampus kuda juveniles under captive conditions and evaluates different food organisms that could be used to improve hatchery-rearing of this species. Newly born H. kuda were reared for 10 days in 60-L capacity tanks and fed rotifers (Brachionus rotundiformis), zooplankton (mostly Pseudodiaptomus annandalei and Acartia tsuensis) alone or both food sources. The size and amount of food ingested increased as seahorses grew. Selective feeding of seahorses appeared to change as they develop, preferring copepod adults over nauplii and rotifers. A. tsuensis was highly selected by juveniles over P. annandalei. Specific growth rate in terms of body weight (SGR-BW, 15% day–1) was the highest and mortality rate (9% at day 10) the lowest in seahorses fed a mixed food sources. Slowest growth rate (0.3% day–1) and highest mortality rate (60% at day 7) were observed in seahorses fed rotifers alone. These results indicate that copepods are suitable food for seahorse juveniles, but a mixture of food organisms in the rearing tank environment enhances survivorship and growth of H. kuda, thus potentially providing a source of cultured rather than wild specimens for characterizing the life history of this threatened species.