Fisheries Research Articles

Survival and growth of western rock lobster Panulirus cygnus (George) fed formulated diets with and without fresh mussel supplement

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Formulated diet, Nutrition, Rock lobster, Mussels, Pellet


Aquaculture and Fisheries | Marine Biology


Two trials were conducted to compare the growth and survival of western rock lobster Panulirus cygnus post-pueruli and year 1 juveniles fed different diets. Trial 1 compared lobsters fed a formulated pelletised feed developed for Panulirus ornatus supplemented with fresh mussels (Mytilus edulis) two days per week, with lobsters fed a daily diet of pellets. Trial 2 compared lobsters fed the pellet–mussel supplement diet with those fed a daily diet of fresh mussels. In the first trial, diet treatment did not significantly affect survival, although it was higher in tanks supplemented with mussels. Growth of post-pueruli and year 1 juveniles fed the pellet diet (0.03 g/day; 0.14 g/day, respectively) was significantly lower than growth of post-pueruli and year 1 juveniles fed pellet–mussel supplement diets (0.07 g/day; 0.2 g/day, respectively). Year 1 lobsters fed the pellet–mussel supplement diet consumed considerably less pellet (0.27 vs 0.40 g pellet dry matter/day (DM/day)) than those fed pellets indicating that they will preferentially favour mussel over pellet diets. Feed conversion ratio (FCR) was significantly better for lobsters fed the pellet–mussel supplement diet as a result of the poor growth of pellet-fed lobsters. In the second trial, survival was significantly higher for lobsters fed mussels only. Growth of post-pueruli fed a mussel diet (0.14 g/day) was significantly higher than those fed pellet–mussel diets (0.11 g/day), but there was no significant difference in growth for year 1 juveniles (0.33 g/day). Feed intake of mussel on a dry matter basis was higher than pellet intake for both size classes, with mussel intake being more than double pellet intake for post-pueruli (0.20 vs 0.49 g DM/day). Poor growth of P. cygnus on a pellet only diet indicates that the current formulation for P. ornatus may be inadequate for P. cygnus. However, as pellet intake declined dramatically for year 1 lobsters offered a mussel supplement, and pellet consumption was significantly lower than mussel consumption, it is more likely that poor growth may be attributed to inadequate palatability and intake. The similarly good survival of lobsters fed pellet and pellet–mussel diets indicates that the pellet diet is an acceptable maintenance diet for P. cygnus, but is not suitable for maximising growth for this species. Further research is needed to improve palatability, intake and potentially nutritional composition of this pellet diet before its suitability for P. cygnus is assured.



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