Diet breakthrough for Lysmata larvae

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Scientists have made some important new discoveries which could make it easier for suppliers to raise the offspring of tropical marine shrimps for the aquarium trade.

Andrew Rhyne and Junda Lin have recently published a paper in the journal Aquaculture Research which describes their feed trial on the larvae of the Peppermint shrimp, the Gulf Coast variety of a species of Lysmata.

The Peppermint shrimp is a popular species in the reef aquarium, and although it has been successfully bred in captivity by both reefkeepers and mariculturists, the mass production has proved problematic.

Rhyne and Lin looked at the effect of three different feeding regimes for Lysmata larvae to assess which ones gave the best survival and larval growth rates.

One sample was fed Artemia; another was fed a commercial feed called ArteMac and a third subset was fed a combination of both Artemia and ArteMac.

The results suggest that Artemia is important in getting the larvae past the zoea 5 stage of development, because the larvae fed on ArteMac alone had a 62.5% survival rate, while those fed on Artemia or a combination of both Artemia and ArteMac had a 99% survival rate.

Similarly, the larvae which were fed ArteMac alone only survived to the zoea 7 stage.

The scientists also said that the food offered also caused the shrimp larvae to develop and settle at different rates:

"Survival to postlarvae for ART treatment (72.5%) was significantly lower (P